|Sandra Gal at a media conference|
Home hope Sandra Gal feels that she can still win this week’s UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi, despite a persistent foot injury which has limited her practice coming into the tournament.
The 27-year-old Solheim Cup player from Dusseldorf inflamed the tendon under her left foot when jogging a week-and-a-half ago, but still played in the Sybase Matchplay in the USA last week.
“I’m taking it day by day and seeing how much I can practice,” Gal said after a press conference at Golfpark Gut Häusern on Tuesday.
“I worked really hard on my game the two weeks that we had off before the Sybase matchplay event. Unfortunately I got injured on my left foot and I couldn’t practise last week almost at all and this week I’ve got to take it easy, so that’s a bit of a minus but I still think my game is good and it’s on the up.
“I just went running for half an hour on Saturday a week ago and the next day I woke up and I couldn’t put pressure on my left foot. When you’re swinging you put all your weight on your left foot so it’s basically an inflammation of the tendon and that’s all it is. It needs some rest and some treatment.”
Gal is the highest ranked player in the field at 40th in the world followed by fellow European Solheim Cup star Sophie Gustafson who is 50th.
Gal has flown over to Europe from her base in Orlando, Florida, to make her second tournament appearance having tied for seventh place last year.
“I’m very excited to be back. I really enjoyed the tournament last year and seeing all the fans here and having my family and friends watching me, really feels like a home game. I think the tournament puts up a great event with all the things the spectators can do here, the music, the organisation: it’s been spectacular.
“I don’t really have any expectations and I try to never have any, any week, because I’m focusing on my own game, giving my best and of course it would be nice to play in front and I would never enter a tournament if I didn’t think I could win it but there are other players and you cannot influence their game so you have to focus on yourself first.”
When asked if she could claim her second victory as a professional golfer following her maiden win at last year’s Kia Classic she answered: “I hope so. It just depends. If I can put in some of the work, then yes.”
“I’m always trying to improve from the year before. I had a really good year, last year. Winning the Solheim Cup and winning my first event in America. You’re always trying to improve but like I said if my expectations are too high you’re not playing free so you’ve got to stay in the moment too.”
Gal has recently been appointed an ambassador for the German Golf Federation (DGV/DGS) and seeks to inspire youngsters to follow their dream.