Koch on controversy: 'Devastated' by Twitter reaction


Gimmegate hasn’t died yet.

European Solheim Cup captain Carin Koch spoke about the incident in a self-written article on nationalclubgolfer.com.

Quick refresher: During the Day 2 fourballs in Germany, American Alison Lee picked up an 18-inch putt on the 17th hole believing the European team of Suzann Pettersen and Charley Hull had conceded the putt. They had not. Pettersen pointed it out to the referee and the hole was awarded to the Europeans. They eventually won the match.

Controversy – and many tears – erupted and the Europeans took a 10-6 lead into the Sunday singles, where they were routed by an inspired U.S. team. The Americans won the cup, 14 ½ to 13 ½.

Koch had this to say on the website:

It is easy to say with hindsight that things could have happened differently in the incident over the Alison Lee gimme.

The first thing to say is that it all happened so quickly. If there is anything I could have done differently it would have been to try and slow it down before the players had got to the 18th. It would have been good to have had a discussion and talk it through before playing the last.

When I reached Suzann, I advised her to concede the 18th and halve the match, but she refused. She is my No 1 player so I had to back her.

I feared it would spur the American team on in the singles and that’s obviously what happened.

Koch also spoke of the positives that happened that week and said she wanted to sit down with U.S. captain Juli Inkster to discuss how the event played out.

She also revealed some negatives, saying: “I made the mistake of opening my Twitter account and I was devastated to read some of the messages on there. I know Suzann has had it a million times worse; that’s the power of social media.

“What really saddens me is that this unfortunate incident tarnished the spirit of the match and how the team played, and all the brilliant shots and putts and incredible comebacks, and that is such a shame.”