ST. LEON-ROT, Germany – Only 15 hours after Suzann Pettersen doubled down and said she had no regrets over her controversial actions Sunday at the Solheim Cup, she completely changed her tune.
Pettersen went to social media Monday morning and apologized for her actions on the 17th green during the conclusion of the second fourball session.
“I've never felt more gutted and truly sad about what went down Sunday on the 17th at the Solheim Cup,” Pettersen posted on her Instagram account. “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.”
The incident in question occurred Sunday morning, when Alison Lee of the U.S. missed an 8-foot putt to win the 17th hole in her match with Brittany Lincicome against Pettesen and Charley Hull. Lee said she thought she heard someone say the 18-inch putt remaining was conceded and scooped up her ball. Pettesen was adamant that concession was not given and the U.S. lost of the hole and eventually the match.
Sunday evening, after the U.S. overcame a four-point deficit in singles to win the competition, Pettersen said she wouldn’t have handled the situation differently.
“We are all trying to win, to play golf,” Pettersen said. “I totally respect the Americans. We totally respect the game. At that point of time in the match, with the putt she had left, I would still like to see it. If she had the putt to win the cup, I would still like to see it.”
Hull, European Solheim Cup captain Carin Koch and European vice captain Annika Sorenstam defended Pettersen’s actions. Others, however, were very critical, including former Solheim Cup stalwart Laura Davies, who said on Sky Sports 4:
“How Suzann can justify that I will never, ever know. We are all fierce competitors, but, ultimately, it's unfair. We have to play week in, week out together and you do not do something like that to a fellow pro.
“I am disgusted. I know she is angry and justifying everything, but she has let herself down and she has certainly let her team down. I am so glad I am not on that team this time.”
Two-time major champion Zach Johnson tweeted: “What happened on the 17th green is a disgrace to the sport.”
Ultimately, it seems, Pettersen had a change of heart. U.S. captain Juli Inkster said on Monday's "Morning Drive" that the two had a face-to-face talk Monday morning.
"We had a nice chat," Inkster. "She kind of explained her side and I explained my side, where I was coming from. It was a good talk. I read Suzann's statement and I totally believe that she does feel really bad. ... We had a good talk. And I'm putting it behind me and moving on."
Below is Pettersen's full Instagram posting:
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.