WOBURN, England – Suzann Pettersen and Laura Davies have never talked about the Solheim Cup controversy that erupted last fall.
Pettersen was heavily criticized for failing to concede a short putt to American Alison Lee in fourballs, which left Lee in tears after she scooped up her ball mistakenly believing the Europeans told her to pick up. The Americans said the furor helped inspire their epic Sunday comeback victory. Davies, working as a Sky Sports analyst, leveled the strongest criticism of Pettersen during the American and European telecasts.
After posting scores Thursday at Woburn Golf Club, Pettersen and Davies still haven’t talked about the incident.
“I’ve never mentioned it to her, and she’s never said anything to me,” Davies said. “I know her family thought I was a bit critical of her at the time, but it was my opinion, just one of those things. She did the wrong thing, and that’s all there is. But we’re good mates, and we’ve been good mates for 20 some years. A little disagreement about a happening at the Solheim Cup is not going to upset us. It happens, and that’s the way it is.”
This week marks the first time an LPGA event has been played in Europe since that Solheim Cup. What did Davies think when she saw her grouping this week?
“It didn’t matter to me,” Davies said. “I get on really well with both of them, and I don’t think they have any problems.”
Davies, 52, had a problem with her poor short game Thursday back in her beloved England. Davies, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame last year, shot a 2-over-par 74 with 34 putts. She’s frustrated in how that’s becoming a recurring theme in her game. Pettersen opened with a 73 and Lee a 71.
“I feel like I’m playing well, but my results are rubbish coming into this,” Davies said. “It was more of the same today. I had four three putts, and I shoot 2 over. If I get rid of the three-putts, I’m 2 under, which is a satisfying day. It’s so miserable to come off every day and shoot 1 or 2 over when you’ve played as well as the others and you get beat because you have so many putts.”
Davies said she had a good putting session this week with Jamie Spence, a longtime English European Tour pro.
“It looks good and feels good, but I have four three-putts today,” Davies said. “I don’t know what to say. I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried cross hand, no hands, swinging with my teeth. Nothing works.”