Sep
21
2015
Suzann Pettersen apologizes for Solheim Cup row
By Stephanie Wei under Solheim Cup

A day after standing her ground and insisting she would do the same thing again in the Solheim Cup controversy in one of the remaining four-ball matches on Sunday morning — a call that many deemed as unsportsmanlike — Suzann Pettersen posted a heartfelt apology to her Instagram.

The 34-year-old Norwegian was strongly criticized by U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster, former teammate Dame Laura Davies, among others, for her actions on the 17th hole in the four-ball match, where she was partnered with Charley Hull and playing against rookie Alison Lee and Brittany Lincicome.

The match was all square and both Europeans had missed their birdie attempts. Lee was left with a 12-footer to win the hole and it just barely slid by the cup, stopping at gimme range. She thought she had heard it had been conceded by the Europeans, so she scooped up the ball with her putter.

A few seconds later, Pettersen approached an official and insisted that she and Hull hadn’t given Lee the putt. The result was the loss of the hole, putting the Americans 1-down in the match heading into 18. The Europeans ended up winning 2-up, but the discussion of Pettersen’s actions continued following the green, with Lee and Hull both in tears.

The Americans used the unfortunate incident as motivation to overcome a four-point deficit heading into the singles matches to complete the greatest come-from-behind victory in Solheim Cup history, beating the Europeans by a point.

Pettersen called the situation “unfortunate,” but insisted that she would “totally” make the same decision again.

“We are all trying to win, to play golf. I totally respect the Americans and we totally respect the game,” Pettersen said. ”At that point of time at the match, and the putt she left, I thought I would still like to see it. If she had that putt to win the cup, I would still like to see it.”

Well, after sleeping on it and perhaps reading the bevy of criticism directed at her on social media, Pettersen changed her tune, issuing an extremely remorseful apology on Monday morning.

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. To the U.S. team, you guys have a great leader in Juli , who I’ve always looked up to and respect so much. Knowing I need to make things “right,” I had a face to face chat with her before leaving Germany this morning to tell her in person how I really feel about all of this. I wanted her also to know that I am sorry. I hope in time the U.S. 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. To the fans of golf who watched the competition on TV, I am sorry for the way I carried myself. I can be so much better and being an ambassador for this great game means a lot to me. The Solheim Cup has been a huge part of my career. I wish I could change Sunday for many reasons. Unfortunately I can’t.  This week I want to push forward toward another opportunity to earn the Solheim Cup back for Europe in the right way. And I want to work hard to earn back your belief in me as someone who plays hard, plays fair and plays the great game of golf the right way.

A photo posted by Suzann Pettersen (@suzannpettersen) on

“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.

“To the U.S. team, you guys have a great leader in Juli , who I’ve always looked up to and respect so much. Knowing I need to make things “right,” I had a face to face chat with her before leaving Germany this morning to tell her in person how I really feel about all of this. I wanted her also to know that I am sorry.

“I hope in time the U.S. 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.

“To the fans of golf who watched the competition on TV, I am sorry for the way I carried myself. I can be so much better and being an ambassador for this great game means a lot to me.

“The Solheim Cup has been a huge part of my career. I wish I could change Sunday for many reasons. Unfortunately I can’t. This week I want to push forward toward another opportunity to earn the Solheim Cup back for Europe in the right way. And I want to work hard to earn back your belief in me as someone who plays hard, plays fair and plays the great game of golf the right way.”