Meet Europe’s new star Sandra Gal… who can play in The Solheim Cup! The 25-year-old German won her first title at the Kia Classic on the LPGA Tour in March, holding off World No.2 Jiyai Shin.
She has now joined the Ladies European Tour and is eligible for selection by European Captain Alison Nicholas for the team at Killeen Castle in September, potentially following in the footsteps of compatriots Bettina Hauert and Elisabeth Esterl.
The current World No.34 is playing in her home nation at the UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi at Golfpark Gut Häusern near Munich for the first time this week and could certainly enhance her Solheim Cup prospects with a strong performance on European soil.
How are you feeling about playing back in Germany?
I am looking forward to it, it will be my first tournament as a pro in Germany after playing 3 years on the LPGA.
What are you looking forward to about playing at home?
To meet old friends from my amateur career and to play in front of German crowds and fans.
Who will join you outside the ropes – any friends and family?
My family will be there as well as some friends and relatives.
How do you reflect on your victory at the Kia Classic?
It was one of my goals to win this year and it is a good feeling to achieve it early in the season. It is a part of a journey, which I enjoy very much. The journey itself however is more important for me then the single achievements.
What are your hopes and expectations for the UniCredit Ladies German Open?
No expectations. But I hope I will play good golf and be therefore able to have a chance to be in one of the last flights on Sunday. But there are many excellent players out there, so it does not depend only on me.
Now you have a chance to be selected for The Solheim Cup, how do you feel about your chances?
It is a great honor to represent Europe and I would love to do it. If I carry on playing well, I hope I will get the chance to play.
How did it feel to be asked to join the LET by Alison Nicholas?
Great! It showed me that I am on the radar with respect to the Solheim Cup.
Will you play in any European events this year, or just the Evian Masters and Ricoh Women’s British Open?
Well, I already played two LET events in Australia in the beginning of the season. I will also play the German Open in May as discussed (missing one LPGA event) and of course Evian and the British Open. But our LPGA schedule does not allow me to play more LET tournaments. I don’t know, if it is possible, but it would be nice to have some more co-ordination with respect to the overlapping of tournaments between tours – perhaps good for both sides.