New skipper Sorenstam to 'handle things differently'

Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:54pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - New European Solheim Cup captain Annika Sorenstam has promised to handle things differently if there is a repeat of the unsavoury incident that marred last year's defeat by the United States.

Tempers flared on the final day of the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup in Germany six months ago when European player Suzann Pettersen refused to concede a 16-inch putt to Alison Lee and the American picked her ball up on the 17th green.

That left the referee no option but to award the hole to Pettersen and fourballs partner Charley Hull, leading to victory for the pair against Lee and Brittany Lincicome and accusations of a lack of sportsmanship by the home team.

"It will be handled differently (next time)," Sorenstam told Reuters in a telephone interview from California after being announced as fellow Swede Carin Koch's successor on Wednesday.

"We need to put it behind us. Suzann stood up, Carin did what she could and I think we need to respect them but at the same time move on.

"There were so many other wonderful stories last year, the golf from the American team was exceptional on the last day for instance," added Sorenstam, one of Koch's vice-captains at St Leon-Rot.

"If we are going to grow this game we have to think about the positives too and that is my intention.

"It's not just me, it's the whole team. We all experienced it and I think everybody learned something from it. I don't think we'll get in that situation next year."   Continued...

Former professional golfer Annika Sorenstam of Sweden signs autographs during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship in Pebble Beach, California, in this file photo dated June 18, 2010. REUTERS/Hans Deryk