Gal stays motivated, finishes 3rd at USWO

Sandra Gal watches her tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the 2012 U.S. Women's Open.

KOHLER, Wis. – An oddly quiet major Sunday called for a realignment of goals – at least for everyone not named Na Yeon Choi. That’s what happens when a player like Choi brings a diabolical Pete Dye design to its knees with a third-round, 7-under 65 and takes a six-shot lead into the final round.

“On this golf course, once you’re six shots behind, it’s hard to make it up,” Sandra Gal said of Sunday’s scenario at Blackwolf Run. “So basically it was just a battle for second or third.”

As the field quickly discovered, even staying in the hunt wasn’t easy. Blackwolf Run afforded only 12 rounds under par on Sunday. There was an eerie silence around the place for much of the day as the doubles and triples added up, and Choi remained out of reach.

Though she couldn’t catch Choi – or even really get close, scorewise – Gal was one of the players to stay afloat on Sunday. And as she pointed out post-round with an exhausted smile, she had her train wreck, too. That came in the form of a triple bogey at the par-3 13th. She finished a long day of up-and-down par saves with a 2-over 74, good for solo third. Gal was 1 over for the week.

“I just really, really hung in there today,” she said. “I didn’t hit a lot of greens. I made up and down from everywhere, and then I was lucky to roll in a few longer putts and I just stuck it out till the end.”

In five U.S. Women’s Open starts, Gal’s third-place finish is her best yet. Attribute part of that to a new Metal X Callaway putter she put in the bag last week. The rest, Gal said slyly, she’d rather not discuss.

“Leading up to this event, my game started to get a lot better and more solid. I think the key to it, I’ll probably keep that to myself. I think it’s just less thinking and more playing and really enjoying out there.”

Welcome to Golfweek.com's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Golfweek.com Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification