Solheim Cup can boost German golf: Masson

Thu Jul 2, 2015 11:36am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Germany has produced champions like Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer but golf interest there is minimal and Caroline Masson says the 2015 Solheim Cup will be a great chance to show the locals what they are missing.

Masson was an integral member of the side when Europe won the biennial team event in the U.S. for the first time two years ago and she is anxious to qualify for the Sept. 18-20 matches that will be held on home soil at St Leon Rot in Heidelberg.

"Everywhere in the world there was an explosion of interest when Martin holed the winning putt for Europe in the 2012 Ryder Cup but I'm not sure there was such an explosion in Germany," the 26-year-old told Reuters in an interview.

"Nobody there could really see what it meant and it's especially hard to explain when there's little or no TV coverage back home.

"I think if people just watched one minute of coverage from the 2013 Solheim Cup every sports fan would say, 'wow, this is cool', and would be really into it," said Masson while preparing for this week's European Masters at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club on the outskirts of London.

"Bernhard has been a great ambassador," she added of the twice U.S. Masters winner.

"He's amazing and should be regarded as one of the top three athletes Germany has ever had but golf is not that popular and people over there don't see it that way."

Masson says the organizers and promoters of the Solheim Cup, the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup, need to use September's event as a shop window for sports fans in her country.   Continued...

Bernhard Langer of Germany putts on the second green during second round play of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 10, 2015.  REUTERS/Phil Noble