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Solheim Cup: USA captain Juli Inkster accuses Europe of disrespect – SkySports

USA's captain Juli Inkster speaks about the controversy surrounding Alison Lee's putt
USA's captain Juli Inkster speaks about the controversy surrounding Alison Lee's putt

USA captain Juli Inkster accused Europe of disrespect following a controversial incident at the Solheim Cup on Sunday morning, while Carin Koch defended her team’s actions.

Charley Hull and Suzann Pettersen beat American duo Alison Lee and Brittany Lincicome 2 up in the final fourball – to give Europe a 10-6 lead over the USA heading into the singles – but their victory was marred by a row following an incident on the 17th hole.

Lee missed a putt and then picked up her ball under the assumption Europe had conceded – Hull was already walking towards the last hole – only for Pettersen to claim Europe had not conceded the short putt that remained. The umpire intervened and Europe were awarded the hole.

USA captain Juli Inkster told Sky Sports 4: “I can’t [believe what has happened]. I’ve never seen in my career anything like that. I’m telling you right now – it’s just not right – you just don’t do that to your peers – it’s disrespectful.

“I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was good too. I saw Charley walk off , I saw Suzann kind of turn her back and then Suzann said she didn’t give it to her. So if that’s the way they need to play to win, then we’ll just try to do our best out there today.

There was huge controversy in the Solheim Cup fourballs as Alison Lee picked up her ball after missing a putt, but the hole had not been conceded There was huge controversy in the Solheim Cup fourballs as Alison Lee picked up her ball after missing a putt, but the hole had not been conceded

“They didn’t really have to do it, they were winning anyway – it was tied – they could have birdied 18 and won the match. I don’t get it.”  

Inkster thought European captain Koch may have intervened to change the result, although under the rules that could not happen.

“I did, I did expect her to do something,” said Inkster. “She didn’t, so we will just move on from there. I think it’s a done deal so, you know what, we don’t want it now. If they wanted to do it they should have done it then.”

Referee Dan Maselli explains what led to the controversy Referee Dan Maselli explains what led to the controversy

Koch offered a contrasting view, saying: “Alison Lee hit her birdie putt and she missed it. It went by the hole and our team didn’t concede the putt and she went and picked it up, so with that she broke a rule. In match play you have to get your putt conceded to pick it up.

“I think the only miscommunication was between her [Lee] and Brittany because Brittany said ‘don’t pick it up’, but she said it too late so Alison still picked it up. “

Suzann Pettersen in discussions with European captain Carin Koch Suzann Pettersen in discussions with European captain Carin Koch

When asked if she had thought about stepping in, the Swede added: “We considered it but when I found out that they would not have given the putt – we were standing far away and we could not see how long the putt was.

“But Suzann and Charley would not have given her the putt because it went by far enough where they would have made her putt it – so then no.

USA's Wendy Ward talks on the incident at the 17th with Alison Lee where Europe now lead 10-6 ahead of the singles. USA's Wendy Ward talks on the incident at the 17th with Alison Lee where Europe now lead 10-6 ahead of the singles.

“We all feel bad for Alison, she made a mistake and it’s very unfortunate. We don’t want things like that to happen but she made a mistake in the rules of golf. We had a rules meeting where it was clearly stated that you have to concede a putt very clearly and she didn’t go within the rules.

“The rules are the rules. We have to follow the rules.”

LPGA referee Dan Maselli tells Alison Lee that her putt is not conceded on the 17th green LPGA referee Dan Maselli tells Alison Lee that her putt is not conceded on the 17th green

Lee later said that she thought the Europeans had conceded her putt.

“I thought I heard it was ‘good’,” she said. “Charley was walking off the green and Suzann was already off the green so there was no doubt in my mind that the putt was ‘good’.

“I didn’t even think twice about it. I just picked it up. Now I know I have to double check and make sure. I guess it’s a lesson learned. From now on I just double check and look at them straight in the eye so I can confirm it.”

Meg Mallon, who captained Team USA in Colorado two years ago, added on Twitter: “This is tough. It’s not the spirit of the Solheim family. This is a game and somehow we lose perspective in these matches. #sad.”

Solheim Cup: USA captain Juli Inkster accuses Europe of disrespect – SkySports

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