‘Unbelievably Stupid’ – Solheim Cup Putting Controversy Sparks Massive Outrage From Golf Fans and Former Tour Pro

Published 09/05/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Sep 4, 2021; Toledo, Ohio, USA; Ally Ewing of Team USA in a listens in a huddle near the eighteenth green after winning her match during afternoon fourball in the 2021 Solheim Cup at Inverness Club. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


The Solheim Cup is currently taking center stage at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. As usual, Team USA is battling with Team Europe for one of the highest honors in women’s golf. However, the competition never really catches fire without a controversy taking place. That’s exactly what happened on Friday when Nelly Korda and Alley Ewing played against Nanna Koerstz-Madsen and Madelene Sagstrom. 

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This was a foursomes match between Team USA and Team Europe – which the Americans won in a controversial fashion. None of the golfers were involved in creating the drama, and it was in fact, the rules official who caused quite a bit of outrage. 

What blew up as a controversy during Day 1 of the Solheim Cup?

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Nelly Korda and Alley Ewing defeated their European opponents in their foursomes match, but Korda later revealed that this is not the ideal victory that she wanted. Here’s why she felt that way after going one up against the Europeans. 

As Korda and Ewing were playing Koerstz-Madsen and Sagstrom, controversy erupted on the 13th hole. Korda was left with a big eagle putt to win it on the 13th for Team USA. The Olympic gold medalist made a terrific putt, but the ball stopped just before the hole, leaving her onto her knees in disbelief. 

The ball did not seem to go in, and as a result, Sagstrom picked up her opponent’s ball and threw it back at her, which means that she conceded her next putt. Once again, the ball did not go in and was sitting very close near the hole. 

Sagstrom’s act is what caused the controversy. Since Korda didn’t make the putt, the hole was tied between the Americans and the Europeans. However, a rules official came out and stated that the hole was won by Nelly Korda since the ball was hanging on the hole and the mandatory ten-second rule was not followed by the Sagstrom. 

 

The rule states that an overhanging ball should be given ten seconds to drop into the hole after it reaches the location. However, Sagstrom didn’t wait for ten seconds as she thought the ball was not “overhanging.” A lot of people seemed to have agreed with her, but the rules official didn’t. 

Golf fans took to the internet to express their disbelief 

Controversy fell upon the Solheim Cup 2021 as early as Day 1. Sagstrom assumed she was conceding the tap-in birdie, but the ruling suggested that she did not allow enough time for the ball to fall into the hole. However, a lot of people were convinced that the ball was never hanging onto the hole. 

This sparked massive outrage on Twitter, where a lot of fans, reporters, and some former pros also got involved: 

 

 

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Arjun Athreya

2105 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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