From left: Gabriele Volz (UniCredit), Lexi Thompson, Sandra Gal and Nikolaus Pelzer (DGU).
Alexis ‘Lexi’ Thompson and Sandra Gal will participate in the UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi for the first time this week.
The United States based stars join a stunning field of competitors at the Ladies European Tour event, which will be played for the fourth time at Golfpark Gut Häusern, near Munich, from May 19-22.
The 2010 champion Laura Davies, will be vying to win the tournament along with a number of other players such as the 2009 winner Jade Schaeffer, last week’s ISPS Handa Portugal Ladies Open champion Ashleigh Simon, Helen Alfredsson and 16 of the top-20 players from the 2011 Henderson Money List.
This year, ERGO Insurance Group has joined as a new sponsor and prize money has increased to 350,000 Euros, with 52,500 Euros and an Audi A5 convertible car for the winner.
The event has attracted the cream of European golf, as well as 16-year-old Thompson, who tied for second at last year’s Evian Masters in France having turned professional in June.
She held a share of the lead entering the final round of the Avnet LPGA Classic in Mobile, Alabama, last month, but eventually tied for 19th place in the tournament.
Thompson explained her decision to travel to Germany: “At the last event, the players I played with said it was run so well and it was a really fun tournament. I’d heard great things about it and that’s why I came here.
“They definitely said it was one of the top events over here so that’s why I came. I’m just really honoured that I got an invite to this event. I came yesterday so it was a great day, a relaxed day and just everybody hanging out, so it was a lot of fun. Hopefully I’ll get to experience a bit more the next few days.”
Dusseldorf-born Gal, the World No.34, will play in her first Ladies European Tour event since becoming a member following her victory at the Kia Classic.
She said: “I am looking forward to it; it will be my first tournament as a pro in Germany after playing three years on the LPGA.”
As a member of the LET, she now has a chance to be picked for the European Solheim Cup team this September and is joined in the field by the top five players on the Ladies European Tour’s Solheim Cup standings, led by Davies, followed by Melissa Reid, recent Turkish Airlines Ladies Open champion Christel Boeljon, Virginie-Lagoutte-Clement and Becky Brewerton.
In addition, there are a number of first year players in the tournament, including the current top three LET rookies, Caroline Hedwall, Klara Spilkova and Jaclyn Sweeney as well as Rachel Jennings, who finished eighth last week in Portugal.
Once again, there is a fantastic hole-in-one prize available on the 156-metre/171-yard par-three 15th: an Audi R8 Spyder worth 200,000 Euros, which is the highest value hole-in-one prize on the Ladies European Tour all year.
Additionally, there is another prize for a hole-in-one this year at the 138-metre/151-yard par-three eighth hole: a bar of gold worth 5000 Euros, sponsored by UniCredit.
Tournament action will be shown on Sky in Germany, from 18:00-19:00 on Thursday and Friday. Live coverage will be available to watch from 15:00-19:30 on Saturday and from 13:00-17:00 for Sunday’s final round.