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US golfer left in tears after Solheim Cup is marred by controversy

The final day of the Solheim Cup was overshadowed by confusion over whether a putt had been conceded, with the US left furious.

Alison Lee breaks into tears on Sunday.
Alison Lee breaks into tears on Sunday.

AMERICAN ALISON LEE was reduced to tears after her mistake controversially cost the United States a point as Europe led the Solheim Cup 10-6 after the delayed fourballs today.

In the final match on the course, Europeans Suzann Pettersen and Charley Hull were all square with Lee and Brittany Lincicome with two holes to play.

But, at the 17th, Lee hit her putt just past the hole. Assuming she had been give the second putt she picked up her ball.

But the Europeans hadn’t conceded and, playing by the rules, Pettersen claimed the hole for a one hole lead. They went on to halve the 18th for a point that was won in unsavoury fashion — effectively producing a two-point swing in Europe’s favour.

In the other two matches held over from Saturday because of bad light it was one point for each side.

USA’s Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller completed a one hole win over Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall but Europe’s Catriona Matthew and Karine Icher defeated Lizette Salas and Brittany Lang 2 and 1.

Lee, the only newcomer from either side, left the course in tears, but she was consoled by her team mates.

“Alison, you did nothing wrong. Let’s use this to motivate us,” Lewis told her.

Hull was also in tears at the end of the match, and European vice-captain Marie McBride commented: “This is not how it is meant to be.”

Carin Koch, the European captain, backed Pettersen’s decision, though.

“Alison broke the rules and we play by the rules,” she said.

Germany Golf Solheim Cup European captain Carin Koch. Source: Jens Meyer

But US captain Juli Inkster had a very different opinion.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “It’s not right to do that to your peers. It’s disrespectful. But if that’s the way they want to win.

The thing is they didn’t need to do it, they’re winning anyway. I just don’t get it. I expected Carin to step in, but I haven’t spoken to her yet.”

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Europe now need to win just four points from the singles to win the Cup for a third year in a row.

Laura Davies, speaking on SKY TV and a veteran of 12 Solheims for Europe, was furious with Pettersen and the Europeans.

“I’m disgusted,” she said. “How Suzann can justify that I will never know. Charley is in tears and that shows it is wrong.

“You do not do something like that to a fellow professional. Poor Alison. She has been wronged by one of the senior players in golf.

“Suzann has let herself and her team down and I’m so pleased I am not in that team.”

- © AFP, 2015 

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