Pettersen apologises for Solheim Cup controversy


The USA beat Europe 14½-13½ in Germany on Sunday in an acrimonious match that saw players in tears after controversy.

The USA produced a stunning fightback in the singles after entering the session 10-6 behind. They won eight and a half points from 12 to regain the title the USA last won in 2009 – and stage the biggest comeback in Solheim history.

But the event was overshadowed by controversy over the issue over the non-concession of a short American putt in the fourballs…

“After this morning they were all fired up,” Inkster said of the incident.

”The girls were awesome. Everybody did their job. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Annika Sorenstam, assistant to Europe captain Carin Koch, said: “The US came out very strong and played very solid. There were some crucial matches at the end.” But none were more critical than a fourballs match earlier in the day… 

When a gimme isn’t a gimme

The USA were given plenty of ammunition to stage their fight back up after the fourballs, delayed from the second day, in which Alison Lee and Brittany Lincicome lost to Charley Hull and Suzann Pettersen by two holes.

The incident happened on the 17th hole, where Lee missed a birdie putt to win the hole and picked up her ball as Hull walked away, assuming Europe had conceded because the follow-up was a formality. However, Pettersen then spoke to the rules official and said they hadn’t given it, so the Americans incurred a penalty stoke and so lost the hole. 



Davies, Inkster, Creamer pull no punches

Four-time major winner Laura Davies was brilliant on Sky Sports, with thoughtful but forthright opinions on the issue. She blamed he friend Pettersen for the incident. She said on air:  “I am disgusted. Suzann has let herself and her team down.” Inkster said the move was “disrespectful”, adding: “I couldn’t believe it. I saw Suzann walk away. You don’t do that to your peers. I expected Carin to do something afterwards but she didn’t.”

American Pauler Creamer – who bagged the winning point – added: “This game is about sportsmanship and unfortunately that was not shown there. I wasn’t a part of that match, but it’s a game of golf and we have to remember that.”


Europe fall back on ‘rules are rules’

Europe captain Carin Koch was unrepentant. She claimed it was Lee’s mistake, adding: “Our team didn’t concede the putt. She picked it up. It broke the rules. “We considered changing the outcome but we would not have given the putt. They would have made her putt it. So, no. We all feel bad for Alison but she made a mistake.”


Pettersen didn’t think she did anything wrong

Suzann Pettersen defended her decision to call a foul on Alison Lee – and insisted she’d do it again. ”Totally. We are all trying to win,” she said.

“It was very clear from Charley and me that we wanted to see the putt (made). I’ve never been more quiet in my life after seeing her first putt. We didn’t say a word and unfortunately she picked up.”

Partner Charley Hull – who obviously started walking off the green after Lee’s first putt stopped within 16 inches of the hole – also said she wouldn’t have given the putt.

“I was walking over to Suzann to discuss whether or not to give the putt and then I turned around and Alison picked up,”  Hull said. “A few people are saying I was walking off the green. If they watch again I was talking to Suzann.” 



Pettersen took to Instagram to issue an apology on Monday morning:

“I’ve never felt more gutted and truly sad about what went down Sunday on the 17th at the Solheim Cup. I am so sorry for not thinking about the bigger picture in the heat of the battle and competition. I was trying my hardest for my team and put the single match and the point that could be earned ahead of sportsmanship and the game of golf itself! I feel like I let my team down and I am sorry. To the U.S. team, you guys have a great leader in Juli , who I’ve always looked up to and respect so much. Knowing I need to make things “right,” I had a face to face chat with her before leaving Germany this morning to tell her in person how I really feel about all of this. I wanted her also to know that I am sorry. I hope in time the U.S. team will forgive me and know that I have learned a valuable lesson about what is truly important in this great game of golf which has given me so much in my life. To the fans of golf who watched the competition on TV, I am sorry for the way I carried myself. I can be so much better and being an ambassador for this great game means a lot to me. The Solheim Cup has been a huge part of my career. I wish I could change Sunday for many reasons. Unfortunately I can’t. This week I want to push forward toward another opportunity to earn the Solheim Cup back for Europe in the right way. And I want to work hard to earn back your belief in me as someone who plays hard, plays fair and plays the great game of golf the right way.”

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