Controversial Putt Causes Solheim Cup Drama

Controversial Putt Causes Solheim Cup Drama

Nelly Korda Putt
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There was huge drama at the Solheim Cup, when Nelly Korda's overhanging putt was picked up after seven seconds, and not the allotted 10.

Controversial Putt Causes Solheim Cup Drama

It wouldn't be a Solheim Cup without controversy and drama, and, at the 13th hole, we saw just that.

Putting for eagle, Nelly Korda left her putt overhanging the hole. As the American sunk to her knees, her opponent, Madelene Sagstrom (opens in new tab), threw the ball back to her.

As play moved on, a rules official (Missy Jones) came over to the players and stated that Korda's ball should have been given 10 seconds on the lip to see if it would drop.

Since Sagstrom had only given it seven seconds, it meant that she had broken rule 13.3a, which says: "If your opponent in match play or another player in stroke play, deliberately lifts or moves the player’s ball overhanging the hole before the waiting time has ended, then in match play, the player’s ball is treated as holed with the previous stroke, and there is no penalty to the opponent."

As a result, Korda (opens in new tab) actually eagled the 13th, meaning that the hole was won by team USA.

Watch the incident below:

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Sagstrom, who had picked the ball up, pleaded her case to rules official, Jones, saying: “But it was never going to go in. … It was not hanging on the hole. Can we get TV to look at it?”

After looking over the footage, the Chief Referee determined that the ball was overhanging the hole, and her putt was considered holed as per rule 13.3a.

Related: What's The Ruling When Your Ball Is Overhanging The Hole? (opens in new tab)

The controversial decision of course caused a storm on social media, with multiple people voicing their opinions.

Two times LET winner, Meghan MacLaren, simply tweeted: "hahahahaha reallyyyyyy," with Thomas Bjorn (opens in new tab) tweeting: "Nothing like when rules officials want to be the centre of attention…"

Maureen Madill didn't mince her words on the matter, saying: "Words fail me. Neither Korda nor Ewing did anything to stop Sagstrom picking up their ball, which was patently not moving. Americans must be desperate."

Nelly Korda Putt

Drama in 2015. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Not everyone was against the decision by the rules official, with Geoff Shackelford tweeting: "Overhanging or not is the question here. The (European) picked up the (American)  ball after 7 seconds, Korda/Ewing win hole. @missyjonjones made the call based on another official determining it was overhanging.

This isn't the first time we've seen controversy at the Solheim Cup. In 2015, America's Alison Lee and Brittany Lincicome were playing against Suzann Pettersen and Charley Hull.

The Americans, who were tied with the Europeans on the 17th hole, had a putt to win. Lee missed, and thought she heard from her competitors that the 18-inch putt she had left was conceded. She picked up the ball, and Pettersen said the putt had not been conceded.

Tears were shed on both sides, and the American duo ended up losing the match, 2 down.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.


Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.


Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x