Solheim Cup will be remembered for 'gimmegate'

Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:02pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - The Solheim Cup has developed a penchant down the years for showcasing the good, the bad and the downright ugly of women's golf and the 14th edition was no exception.

The fans at the St Leon-Rot Club in south west Germany were treated to some dazzling golf by the U.S. and Europe teams in the women's version of the Ryder Cup but ultimately the matches will be remembered for an unseemly final-day row that left two of the main protagonists in tears.

No one did more than Charley Hull to highlight the best of women's golf and it was sad to see the English teenager and 20-year-old opponent Alison Lee needing a shoulder to cry on as they trooped off the 18th green on Sunday morning.

The pair were clearly stunned by what had taken place 15 minutes earlier when Lee mistakenly believed that Hull and morning fourballs partner Suzann Pettersen had conceded a 16-inch putt and the American picked her ball up on the 17th green.

The referee had no option but to award the hole to the Europeans who said later they had offered no sign of a concession to Lee and partner Brittany Lincicome.

Pettersen did a U-turn on Monday, apologising for a lack of sportsmanship, but the incident enraged the U.S. players and fired them up to overturn a 10-6 deficit and dominate the 12 singles to score a remarkable victory by 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2.

Laura Davies, a veteran of 12 European Solheim Cup campaigns, and defeated 2013 U.S. captain Meg Mallon were also bitterly disappointed by what the BBC described as 'gimmegate'.

"I'm disgusted," Davies told Sky Sports. "We have got our best player, Charley Hull, who has just won a point, and she is in floods of tears. That tells you the wrong thing was done."   Continued...

Caroline Hedwall of Team Europe tees off of the 15th as opponent Michelle Wie of Team USA (L) watches in the singles matches of their 2013 Solheim Cup over Team USA at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado August 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking