TOLEDO, Ohio – What’s a Solheim Cup Without Controversy? On Saturday, world number 1 Nelly Korda was in the middle of a four-ball hole on the 13th hole that afternoon after Madelene Sagstrom quickly picked up Korda’s eagle putt while the American was still sitting on the ground in disbelief.
A short time later, Missy Jones, the local LPGA rules officer, informed the players that Sagstrom had picked up the ball too early and that she was breaking rule 13.3b by hanging it over the edge. A statement from the LPGA states: “The chief referee, match referee, observer and television observer were of the opinion that Korda’s third shot on No. 13 protruded over the hole and was picked up by her opponent before the waiting time expired. Therefore, her third stroke was treated as riddled with holes. “
Korda’s birdie was turned into an eagle, giving Nelly and her partner Ally Ewing a 1-up lead that they never gave up. The verdict changed the momentum of the afternoon, which had tipped in favor of Europe since their morning foursome beating.
The USA split the Europeans 2-2 in the four-ball session, which increased the daily total to 5½ to 2½ in favor of the visitors.
An emotional corda called it “the worst way to win a hole”.
“Words fail me,” she said. “This is not how I should feel (after I win).”
A verdict was passed on Nelly’s putt.
The Chief Referee has determined that the ball protruded past the hole and his putt is considered holed under Rule 13.3a. #SolheimCup pic.twitter.com/OIXmBrUjgo
– Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) September 4, 2021
Sagstrom, who worked with rookie Nanna Koerstz Madsen, insisted after the game that she didn’t think the ball had a chance. She struggled to hold onto her emotions when she asked questions after the round.
“Personally, I don’t agree with the decision with the ball on the sidelines,” she said, “but I didn’t follow the 10-second rule, so it sucks right now because I feel like I’m letting my team down . ”
Both Sagstrom and Koerstz Madsen said they heard negative comments from the overwhelming US crowd. Sagstrom described it as a “comfortable” match against the Americans up to the 14th tee.
“We came in and had a fight with Nelly on the tee,” said Sagstrom, “because she obviously knew it wouldn’t go in, but the rules are rules, so she wants to stick to them.”
Körstz Madsen has watched the controversy surrounding the Solheim Cup from afar in the past but never thought she would be right in the middle of her first game.
“I don’t think golf should be handled like that, ”she said. “I wouldn’t have expected that in my first match as a rookie in Solheim. … That’s how the rules are here, and that’s apparently how we play. “
When asked if she thought the ball had a chance to get in before it was picked up, Korda said she had no idea because she didn’t get a chance to look at it. She also noted that Jones was letting Americans know that even if they disagreed with the ruling, they had no chance of overturning it.
Officials went extensively about the 10-second rule during a players’ meeting earlier this week.
“I hope they understand that there was no lack of sportiness,” said Ewing. “No matter what was said after all of this, Nelly and I didn’t go wrong. We didn’t make the rules official. Unfortunately, that’s how it turned out, but it doesn’t detract from the good golf we have played. “
Disbelief here for Nelly on the 13th Somehow sums up the day so far. pic.twitter.com/wJjUTmprTJ
– Beth Ann Nichols (olfGolfweekNichols) September 4, 2021
Matthew called the picture she was shown on television fuzzy and inconclusive.
“I mean, Madelene believed 100 percent that she didn’t think for a moment that the ball had a chance of going into the hole when it picked it up,” said Matthew, “and I don’t think Nelly or Ally really thought that it was so. ”will also go in.
“There was no reaction when Madelene picked up the ball and tossed it to them. It’s just an unfortunate incident to – I don’t know how to prevent such a great day of good golf, so hopefully we can put it behind us and move on tomorrow. “
Matthew knocked out Sagstrom in Sunday’s first four-a-side match alongside Georgia Hall. They meet Danielle Kang and Austin Ernst.
Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas brought Team USA the second point on the board with a 1-up win over Sophia Popov and Carlota Ciganda in the afternoon. The veteran Salas sealed the match on the 18th with a birdie.
Europe won the last two points, with Anna Nordqvist and Matilda Castren beating Lexi Thompson and Mina Harigae 4 and 3 respectively. Leona Maguire and Georgia Hall defeated Yealimi Noh and Brittany Altomare by 1 lead.
The rookies Castren and Maguire went 2-0 on their debut in Solheim.
“Fantastic performance,” said Matthew. “Every time someone wins two points, let alone a rookie, it’s a great achievement. You play against the best American players and all games are close. “
Photos: Solheim Cup 2021 in Inverness, Ohio