Monday, September 21, 2015

About face: Pettersen apologises for 

controvesial Solheim putting incident

Only 15 hours after Suzann Pettersen said she had no regrets over her controversial actions Sunday at the Solheim Cup, she completely changed her tune.
The Norwegian player, pictured,  went to social media Monday morning and apologised for her actions on the 17th green during the conclusion of the second four-ball session.
“I've never felt more gutted and truly sad about what went down Sunday on the 17th at the Solheim Cup,” Pettersen posted on her Instagram account. 
“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.”
The incident in question occurred Sunday morning, when Alison Lee of the U.S. missed an 8-foot putt to win the 17th hole in her match with Brittany Lincicome against Pettesen and Charley Hull. Lee said she thought she heard someone say the 18-inch putt remaining was conceded and scooped up her ball. Pettesen was adamant that concession was not given and the U.S. lost the hole and eventually the match.

Sunday evening, after the U.S. overcame a four-point deficit in singles to win the competition, Pettersen said she wouldn’t have handled the situation differently.
“We are all trying to win, to play golf,” Pettersen said. “I totally respect the Americans. We totally respect the game. At that point of time in the match, with the putt she had left, I would still like to see it. If she had the putt to win the cup, I would still like to see it.”
Hull, European Solheim Cup captain Carin Koch and European vice captain Annika Sorenstam defended Pettersen’s actions. Others, however, were very critical, including former Solheim Cup stalwart Laura Davies, who said on Sky Sports 4:
“How Suzann can justify that I will never, ever know. We are all fierce competitors, but, ultimately, it's unfair. We have to play week in, week out together and you do not do something like that to a fellow pro.
“I am disgusted. I know she is angry and justifying everything, but she has let herself down and she has certainly let her team down. I am so glad I am not on that team this time.”
Two-time major champion Zach Johnson tweeted: “What happened on the 17th green is a disgrace to the sport.”