Go Gal! European win would tip Solheim scale


ORLANDO, Fla. – Sandra Gal and Suzann Pettersen can cap off a solid 2011 campaign if they win the CME Group Titleholders at Grand Cypress on Sunday. Gal shares the lead with Hee Young Park on 7 under and Pettersen trails by a shot.

The pair are two of four European-born players to win on the LPGA Tour this season. Pettersen has won twice and Gal won the Kia Classic in March. If a European manages to win on Sunday, members of the victorious Solheim Cup team will win the final two events of the season. 

Prevailing over the U.S. in Ireland may have offered a boost to Europe's morale heading into the end of the season. In addition to the wins, Captain's pick Azahara Munoz posted her best LPGA finish with a third in Malaysia last month.

For Gal, however, staring down Jiyai Shin at the Kia Classic may prove more helpful in guiding her to a second win.

'Kia proved that no matter who I'm playing, if I'm playing my best game or if I'm playing my good game, then I can beat [anybody],' she said.

Pettersen, who won the week before the Solheim Cup team was finalized, is supremely confident in her chances.

'Bring it on. Bring it on,' she said, adding, 'I don't really care who's up there [on the leaderboard], to be honest.'

Barring a breakthrough by Paula Creamer on Sunday, the Europeans will have won more events than the Americans this year – five to four. 

It would mark the first year since 2005 that the Europeans won more events than their Solheim competition. That season, Annika Sorenstam won 10 times and fellow Swede Carin Koch added a victory as the Americans compiled nine wins.