Golf: McIlroy speaks after shot accidentally hits father
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Madelene Sagstrom and Nelly Korda were at the centre of a dramatic rules violation on day one of the Solheim Cup during their four ball match.
As their day one contest headed down the par five 13th, Sagstrom, alongside European team-mate Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Korda with Team USA partner Ally Ewing were all-square following the opening 12 holes, and that looked to be the case through 13 until the controversial rule break.
World No 1 Korda found herself putting for eagle on the 13th green, however her effort from distance rolled just past the hole, agonisingly sitting on the edge of the cup.
Following the American’s eagle attempt, European member Sagstrom swiftly moved in to pick up her opponent’s ball, before throwing it back to her to concede the birdie to the Olympic champion, which was enough to tie the hole.
However, with Korda’s ball sitting over the hole the Swede should have waited 10 seconds before picking up her opponent’s ball, and conceding the hole per rule 13.3.
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Instead Sagstrom had only waited seven seconds before the birdie concession and therefore breached the rule, resulting in Korda earning an eagle rather than a birdie that in turn won Team USA the hole.
This of course fueled frustration to the already amped up European, as when informed of her rule violation Sagstrom was quick to defend her actions to the officials, insisting that the standing ball had no chance of falling into the hole.
As match official Missy Jones approached the 28-year-old to tell her of her rule break, the Swede replied: “It was never going to go in though, it was never going to go in… it was past the hole.”
When asked if Korda’s ball was over-hanging, thus giving it a chance to roll in, Sagstrom added: “It was past the hole, no [it wasn’t over hanging]. Can we look at the TV? It was not hanging over the hole.”
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Despite her plea for TV evidence, the European’s efforts were to no avail as the match official stuck with their original rule-breach decision meaning the American’s were awarded the hole.
This meant Korda and Ewing headed to the 14th one-up in the match, and after five straight tied holes across the final stretch, Sagstrom’s rule break would prove costly as it was enough to give the American’s a narrow win.
Speaking after the controversial round, an emotional Sagstrom was reduced to tiers, following the defeat.
She commented: “Obviously I wasn’t following the rules not leaving the ball for 10 seconds, but I do believe in integrity and the honour of the game of golf, and I put myself in that pool and would never pick up a putt that would have a chance to go in.
“I personally don’t agree with the decision of the ball being on the edge but I didn’t follow the 10-second rule, so it sucks right now because I feel like I let my team down.”
World No 1 Korda also gave her thoughts on the controversial decision, which helped her and teammate Ewing to a day one win.
She said: “Madelene started hot today and then obviously we got it back, but what happened on that par five was very unfortunate, and you don’t want to win a hole like that but by the time I got off the green Missy [Jones] already come up to us and said they were reviewing everything.
“We honestly had no say in it, and obviously it feels weird but they did the best they could with the situation they had at hand.”
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