Galway born Alison Walshe could be Europe’s secret weapon in the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle.
The Boston based star, 25, won six points out of six for the Americans in last year’s Curtis Cup rout of Mary McKenna’s Great Britain and Ireland side.
But she’s not eligible for the US Solheim Cup squad because she was born in Galway and lived in Tuam until she was five. And that means she can tee it up for Europe as she has an Irish passport and earned her Ladies European Tour card this week
Walshe said: “In the Curtis Cup, you just have to be an American citizen. But as far as I know, you can’t play for America in the Solheim Cup unless you were born in the US, so I would have to represent Europe.
“My goal is to play on the LPGA full time but as far as teams goes, I don’t mind. I’d love to play for either team in the Solheim Cup. It would be an honour.
“I grew up in America and played amateur golf for America but I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to play for Europe at all.”
All Walshe has to do is indicate on her Ladies European Tour membership form that she wants to declare for Europe in the Solheim Cup race and skipper Alison Nicholas will have another Irish candidate for a place on the 12-strong team.
Walshe added: “It’s a weird situation and I’ll have to check everything out but I am a dual citizen and have American and Irish passports.”
Barring a change in the US Solheim Cup qualifying criteria, Walshe will never get the chance to play for the Americans in the biggest team event in women’s professional golf.
And that means that she could be in for an Irish homecoming when the matches take place at Killeen Caslte in Co Meath from 23-25 September 2011.
Her father John hails from Spiddal while her mother Mary is a native of Crossmolina in Co Mayo.
She grew up in Tuam but moved to the Boston town of Westford when she was a child and carved out a stellar career in college career in Arizona before turning professional last year.
She played on Duramed Futures Tour - the LPGA equivalent of the Challenge Tour - and finished ninth on the money list and third in the Rookie of the year standings.
Her dream is to play full time on the LPGA Tour but while she failed to earn a full card at this year’s US Q-School she made it through the European school this week.
She said: “I will find out how many starts I will get on the LPGA soon and I can always play in the Monday qualifiers as well.
“I guess I am going to have to split time between the LPGA schedule and the European schedule which should be fun.”
Walshe says she’ll definitely play in the Ladies Irish Open at Killeen Castle next July, which will give her a sneak preview of the 2011 Solheim Cup venue.
If she finds form over the next two years, she could be back in Ireland for the first Solheim Cup match to be hosted here.