Golf: Norwegian Pettersen says sorry for spat with USA at Solheim Cup

Suzann Pettersen hits a tee shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open on Aug 22, 2015.
Suzann Pettersen hits a tee shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open on Aug 22, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

ST LEON-ROT (Germany) • Suzann Pettersen has issued a lengthy apology for her conduct on the final day of golf's Solheim Cup, with the Norwegian doing likewise in person to the United States captain Juli Inkster.

Pettersen prompted fury in the final stages of the team event's fourball session by claiming a hole when one of her opponents, Alison Lee, mistakenly picked up her ball in the belief a short putt had been conceded.

The United States went on to reclaim the Solheim Cup from Europe 141/2 points to 131/2 , with Pettersen's actions widely recognised as a key motivating factor.

In the aftermath of the competition, Pettersen was unrepentant. That stance changed yesterday, when the two-time Major winner took to her Instagram account. She said: "I've never felt more gutted and truly sad about what went down Sunday on the 17th at the Solheim Cup.

"I am so sorry for not thinking about the bigger picture in the heat of the battle and competition. I was trying my hardest for my team and put the single match and the point that could be earned ahead of sportsmanship and the game of golf itself!

"I feel like I let my team down and I am sorry."

Pettersen had earlier been backed by her captain, Carin Koch. Inkster, though, could not contain her fury at the time of the incident.

Pettersen plies her trade on the LPGA Tour in the United States, where she would inevitably have been afforded a rough time from galleries had Europe prevailed.

The Norwegian added: "Knowing I need to make things 'right,' I had a face-to-face chat with (Inkster)... to tell her in person how I really feel. I wanted her to know that I am sorry.

"I hope in time the US team will forgive me and know that I have learned a valuable lesson about what is truly important in this great game of golf which has given me so much in my life."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2015, with the headline 'Pettersen says sorry for spat with USA'. Print Edition | Subscribe