In a pivotal fourball match Friday afternoon at the Solheim Cup, Carlota Ciganda received an improper ruling at the 15th hole. After the drop, Ciganda saved par, improbably halving the hole. The Euros went on to win the 16th hole and ultimately win the match, 1 up, over Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson.
Here is a statement the LPGA released on the ruling:
During the afternoon fourball match on Friday between Stacy Lewis/Lexi Thompson and Suzann Pettersen/Carlota Ciganda, Ciganda hit her second shot on the par 5 15th hole into the right-hand lateral water hazard. After locating her ball within five minutes, the referee in the match advised Ciganda of her options including Rule 26 – 1c. Prior to Ciganda receiving a final ruling, the match referee consulted with the lead rules official who then instructed Ciganda of her options. Per Rule 26-1c (ii), a player who hits into a lateral water hazard is allowed to take equidistant relief on either side of the hazard. However, instead of dropping within the required two clubs lengths per rule 26-1c (ii), Ciganda was permitted to keep the equidistant point between her and the hole resulting in a drop approximately 40 yards behind the equidistant point. While dropping in this manner is permitted under 26-1b, it is not permitted under 26-1c (ii) which was applicable to this situation.
We regret that an incorrect ruling was given and we apologize for any confusion that was caused on the course for the players. Ultimately, Ciganda proceeded to play according to the final ruling she was given and the result of the match does not change. Both captains (Meg Mallon & Liselotte Neumann) were briefed on the matter. Tomorrow’s Foursomes Matches begin at 7:40am local time.