World number two Annika Sorenstam was reduced to tears during this morning's play at The Solheim Cup.
Sorenstam, playing with Scot Janice Moodie were completing their match from yesterday against Pat Hurst and Kelly Robbins of the USA.
The Europeans were battling hard, trying to turn around a 1-down deficit at the thirteenth hole when the Swede chipped in from off the green for par to halve the hole.
|Annika…reduced to tears by Robbins|
But in a callous act of un-sporting behaviour, Robbins then protested to the referee that Sorenstam had played out of turn. There was little difference in who was 'away' and Robbins seemed happy to allow Sorenstam to chip up to keep play moving. But after the Swede had chipped in, it became obvious that Robbins changed her mind very quickly.
The referee was called to the green along with both Captains, Pat Bradley and Europe's Dale Reid, and Sorenstam could not believe that her opponent would resort to such gamesmanship to win the hole after a great shot by Sorenstam.
After fifteen minutes of debating, the referee and both Captain's decided that the players should agree on the outcome and the next thing was Sorenstam was in tears with her mascara running down both eyes. Moodie was not impressed either.
Sorenstam composed herself to re-play her difficult chip shot and nearly holed it again. But it left Pat Hurst, who had been staying well clear of Robbins protest, to hole a four-footer for a win to go 2-up.
"It was a very unfortunate situation.Added Sorenstam later.
"I chipped in and we were celebrating for a birdie and they decided to see who was up and they said it was Kelly. So they recalled my shot and I had to replay it.
"It is just really sad when you have tournaments like this, it is sad to see that the ugly part of them came out because both Pat (Hurst) and Kelly (Robbins) are the nicest they have, and it is just sad to see that they don't even have sportsmanship."
The European Pair composed themselves to battle back with a birdie at the fifteenth, but at the sixteenth, the hole was halved in birdie fours and Europe lost the match 2&1 on the 17th green.
But nothing fires up Annika Sorenstam more than a controversial incident and she can take great confidence that Europe head into the final day singles needing only four points out of a possible twelve to return the cup to these shores.
Catrin Nilsmark and Carin Koch won their match convincingly to put the first blue point on the board for Europe and they were followed by an inspired Liselotte Neumann and Patricia Meunier Lebouc who halved the match for another half point.
Laura Davies and Raquel Carriedo also halved their match and Europe now lead 91/2 to 4 1/2 over the Americans and need just four points to win the Cup.