Gal, Masson playing Solheim Cup in native Germany


Left to right: Sandra Gal and Caroline Masson at the Solheim Cup. (Getty Images)

ST. LEON-ROT, Germany – Americans get a chance to play in their home country every four years in the Solheim Cup. For Europeans it’s a rare occurrence.

Four years ago at Killeen Castle in Ireland, there wasn’t an Irish player on the European team. A Solheim Cup has never been held in England, meaning Laura Davies never played in her home country. Europe’s best-ever player, Annika Sorenstam, played in eight Solheim Cups and was lucky enough to play two in her native Sweden.

This week, Sandra Gal and Caroline Masson have the honor of playing in Germany, for Germany.

“It’s still a little unreal, to be honest,” Masson said. “Yesterday, I was still trying to convince myself that we’re here for the Solheim Cup. It’s just unbelievable. Having a chance to play Solheim Cup at home, it’s just really cool and I’m just really excited for a good week.”

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Masson’s first Solheim Cup came two years ago in Denver when she went 2-1-1 and Europe won handily. She doesn’t feel pressure of putting up the same numbers this year in her native land.

“I don’t see it that way,” she said. “I think there was more pressure for me leading up to the tournament, the last two years, really wanting to be on the team because it’s the only chance to play in the Solhiem Cup in Germany for me probably.”

Gal’s lone Solheim Cup experience came in a victory four years ago in Ireland, although she went 0-2-1 and didn’t play particularly well. She’s pleased to be on this team and hopes it gives golf a spark in her home country.

“That’s my biggest hope with the Solheim Cup, that it’s going to change the image of golf in Germany,” Gal said. “Hopefully it will get a bit of a newer, fresher look, one that is full of passion and enthusiasm.”