Players in tears at Solheim Cup after putt concession controversy mars final day

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The final day of the Solheim Cup was marred by a controversial incident which left some players in tears and Dame Laura Davies "disgusted" by one of her former teammates.

In the final fourball match carried over from Saturday, Suzann Pettersen and Charley Hull were all square with two holes to play against Brittany Lincicome and Alison Lee.

Lee missed a birdie putt to win the 17th and, after the ball finished two feet behind the hole, scooped it up with her putter thinking it was certain to be conceded.

Hull gave that impression as she was already walking across the front of the green towards the 18th tee, but Pettersen said they had not conceded the putt and therefore won the hole.

A par on the 18th was enough for the European pair to win the match, but 19-year-old Hull and 20-year-old rookie Lee were reduced to tears as heated discussions took place around the green.

US captain Juli Inkster was overheard to say: "If that's the way they want to play, let's go." Stacy Lewis adding: "Let's use this to motivate ourselves," before leading several of her teammates in a chant of "Class! Style! USA!"

Asked for her reaction on Sky Sports, 12-time Solheim Cup player Davies said: "I'm disgusted. 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.

"How Suzann can justify that I will never, ever know. We are all fierce competitors but ultimately it's unfair. We have to play week in, week out together and you do not do something like that to a fellow pro.

"Poor old Alison Lee must think 'I hope I never play a Solheim Cup again'. She has had food poisoning and now she has been wronged by one of the most senior players in golf and [who] used to be one of the most respected players.

"I know [Pettersen] is angry and justifying everything, but she has let herself down and she has certainly let her team down. I am so glad I am not on that team this time.

"If they win they are going to think 'Why did we do that?' or 'why did Suzann do that?'"

American Nicole Castrale, who was on the winning side in 2007 and 2009, felt that European captain Carin Koch or one of her assistants should have intervened.

"Never mind what Suzann did, how about Carin Koch, Annika Sorenstam, Sophie Gustafson or Maria McBride," Castrale said. "They all had the chance to make this right and none of them stepped up to the plate.

"This is the way they obviously felt like they had to win. If the Europeans win, it will forever be tarnished."

The incident overshadowed an excellent morning for the home side in Germany, with Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall losing to Lewis and Gerina Piller but Catriona Matthew and Karine Icher beating Lizette Salas and Brittany Lang.

Hull's birdie on the 16th had got the final match back to all square before the controversy erupted on the 17th, where the European pair had missed their birdie attempts to leave Lee with a chance to win the hole.

Koch approached match referee Dan Maselli on the 18th to ask if there was anything she could do and was told the European pair could concede the hole and therefore halve the match.

However, Koch decided against that after learning that Pettersen and Hull would not have conceded the par putt on the 17th, adding: "We have to follow the rules. We had a rules meeting where it was stated you have to concede a putt very clearly."

Asked if it was possible to change the result of match now, Inkster said: "It's a done deal and you know what, we don't want it now.

"I have never seen anything like it in my career. It's just not right. You just don't do that to your peers. It's disrespectful.

"I saw Charley walking off and Suzann kind of turned her back and then Suzann said she did not give it to [Lee]. If that's the way they need to play to win, then we will just try to do our best out there today."

Europe lead 10-6 going into Sunday's singles matches, but a comeback from the visitors saw them win 14.5-13.5.