From left: Sandra Gal, Caroline Masson and LET Chairwoman Helena Alterby Nordström
Home hopes Caroline Masson and Sandra Gal have revealed how participating in the recent Olympic Games in Rio has inspired them to realise their full potential in the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters this week.
Masson and Gal, who will compete on their home course, Golf Club Hubbelrath in Düsseldorf from Thursday, both represented Germany in the women’s Olympic golf competition three weeks ago.
Masson described how the experience inspired her to victory at the ManuLife LPGA Classic in Canada on Sunday and she plans to keep the same mentality.
“I just want to be the best athlete and golfer I can be and really try to feel this Olympic feeling and attitude every day on the course, in the gym, wherever, and try to be the best I can be,” said Masson, who said she was “a hundred per cent” inspired by playing in Rio.
“For a lot of athletes, there’s no reward really, except for themselves, to prove that they are the best they can be in their sport and that’s very inspiring. I came back and I went to Canada and I was jet lagged and everything but I went to the gym every day since then. I was so inspired by the athletes and their passion for their sports.”
She now wants to inspire more German people to try golf by watching world class golfers in the tournament, which offers free entrance on Thursday and Friday. “This is a great opportunity, to have one of the biggest tournaments of Europe in Germany on our home course. Hopefully a lot of people and especially kids will come out and watch us and be inspired,” she said.
While Masson won the Ladies’ club championship at Golf Club Hubbelrath in 2004, Gal won the title three years in a row from 2001-2003 and commented: “This is kind of the mecca for golf as it’s a very dense population for golf in Germany and I think it’s no wonder that this area of Germany produces a lot of good golfers. I think there will be very good crowds and people are very supportive of the game here so hopefully we can spread that to the rest of Germany.”
Both players have fond memories of playing in The 2015 Solheim Cup at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot and Gal added: “We have some good memories from last year’s Solheim Cup, which was an incredible event, and I think Germans are quite well known for putting together good events so it’s going to be a great show for all of us. I’m glad to see all the top golfers come together on my home course and hopefully we’ll see some good play for Germany.”
There will be 19 Olympic golfers in the field of 144 competitors vying for a prize fund of 500,000 euros and local stars Masson and Gal start their first rounds at 13:18 on Thursday.