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USA spurred on by controversy to win Solheim Cup

The USA have staged the biggest comeback in Solheim Cup history after controversy in the morning fourballs.

It was Suzzan Pettersen and Charlie Hull (Europe) up against Alison Lee and Stacey Lewis (USA) when Lee picked up a putt on the 17th six inches from the hole.

Pettersen claimed the Europeans didn’t concede the putt so Lee was penalised for it.

Consequently, Europe won that hole and went on to win that match.

Lee had been warned twice the previous day about picking the ball up too early.

There was tears from both teams and heated conversations going on in English and Swedish.

USA captain Juli Inkster could not believe what happened on the 17th: “There’s no way they could every justify that.

“I don’t care what you say, you just don’t do that to your peers.

“I don’t know if my team needed to be fired up anymore, but they were real fired up.”

Stacy Lewis rallied the troops and challenged team USA to use the incident as motivation. And that they did.

“When it happened to her, we all jumped in there and said we’ve got to change this, we’ve got to right a wrong,” Lewis said.

Europe’s captain – Carin Koch – was quick to defend what happened but you kind of got the feeling it was a bit lack lustre.

“The rules are the rules. You have to follow the rules,” she said.

Pettersen tweeted (apparently during the presentation ceremony) and social media immediately lashed out calling her unsportsmanlike among other things.

   

 

Europe went into the 12 singles with a 10-6 lead. Wins by Morgan Pressel, Alison Lee, Michelle Wie, Christie Kerr, Gerina Piller and a square by Lexi Thompson gave the Americans a 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 win.

In what would end up being a clutch shot, Piller nailed a nine foot putt to win her match by one hole: “For some reason I looked up at the board and all I saw was 13 1/2.

“I’m like, this is it, it’s all on me. It meant a lot not to let my team down.”

After lifting the trophy Inkster was asked if she would ever get over the controversy on the 17th. She responded perfectly. “I’m over it, we got the cup.”

And of course there’s one more twist. Pettersen has apologised for the whole thing. Just in!  

 

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.

 

A photo posted by Suzann Pettersen (@suzannpettersen) on

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Candice Freeman is a lover of all things sport. She's grown up playing softball and hockey and played Aussie Rules for over 10 years. Over the years she has also tried her hand at cricket, volleyball, triathlon and CrossFit. And now... well she's attacking the never ending challenge to lower her golf handicap.

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