Your opponent then says to you that they thought they heard a concession, yet none was given. The player is then distraught that they made a serious mistake of judgement and have to suffer the consequences of losing the hole and the match.
You then are vilified by the opposing team for being so hard on their team-mate and anybody who supports the opposing team singles you out as the ‘bad guy’, even though you actually have done nothing wrong. It was the other player’s mistake and mistakes have consequences, it wasn’t bad sportsmanship on your behalf. You played within the rules and the other player didn’t. Rules have penalties and nobody argued that the rules hadn’t been fairly applied.
You then apologise for the situation caused, saying that you never wished to cause the upset, and feel really bad about the outcome. Still you are singled out for criticism and made to feel in the wrong. Four years pass and still you are labelled the ‘bad guy’ by the opposition. You would be pretty dissatisfied with the situation; I would say that you would have every right to be unhappy verging on angry, after all you were in the right!
This was Suzann Petterson’s story - all of the above occurred in the spotlight of the Solheim Cup. For this Cup encounter she has attracted a touch of controversy from a different angle; she has been included even though she has had eighteen months off due to maternity leave and has only played two events this year, missing both cuts. Hardly a form horse.
So when they say that she was a controversial pick from the Captain, you now have the full story. Yet she is, historically for Europe, one of the Solheim Cup’s most decorated generals so our European Captain was making what the media thought a risky pick - she thought differently.
As the events unfolded, last Sunday, it became clear that the fate of Europe’s hopes to win the Solheim Cup was going to be decided by a European rookie and a Captain’s Pick. Boy did they do Europe proud, winning both points to nudge the scales and the result in our favour.
The putt Petterson holed on the last was pure pressure and after the ball fell in the hole, nobody was surprised, all of her experience showed and came off. A strong metal forged in the highest of heat and pressure.
Yet this was not the end of the story, there was one more twist in the story. Petterson said that was enough for her, she announced her retirement on the Sunday evening. It’s as close to a perfect ending as Ali’s pulled punch against Forman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. The punch wasn’t thrown because it would have detracted from the beauty of the knock-out.
Petterson can now be remembered as the hero for holing the winning put for Europe’s 2019 Solheim Cup campaign. Something which will last with her and our memories for a long time, much better than the messy business of an American not wanting to be held accountable for their actions, don’t you think?