Norway's Suzann Pettersen, the player at the heart of the Solheim Cup row between Europe and the United States, has backtracked and apologised for prioritising winning over fair play.
Pettersen sparked a huge spat on Sunday, the final day of the biennial competition, by refusing to concede a putt when American Alison Lee mistakenly picked up her ball.
The US team drew on their sense of injustice to rout Europe in the singles matches and reclaim the trophy, while the Norwegian’s actions were branded “disgusting” by four-time Major winner Laura Davies.
Pettersen initially stood by her behaviour, but following widespread condemnation yesterday expressed her regret.
“I’ve never felt more gutted and truly sad about what went down Sunday on the 17th at the Solheim Cup,” said the 34-year-old.
“I am so sorry for not thinking about the bigger picture in the heat of the battle and competition. I was trying my hardest for my team and put the single match and the point that could be earned ahead of sportsmanship and the game of golf itself! I feel like I let my team down and I am sorry.”
Pettersen added that she had sought out US captain Juli Inkster to say sorry in person.
“Knowing I need to make things ‘right’, I had a face to face chat with her before leaving Germany this morning to tell her in person how I really feel about all of this. I wanted her also to know that I am sorry,” she said.
“I hope in time the U.S. team will forgive me and know that I have learned a valuable lesson about what is truly important in this great game of golf which has given me so much in my life.”