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Annika Sorenstam
"No sportsmanship and that's what we are all about."
 real 14k

Sunday, 8 October, 2000, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
US accused of bad sportsmanship
Pat Hurst explains to the two captains why she complained
Pat Hurst explains to the two captains why she complained
By BBC Sport Online's Clive Lindsay at Loch Lomond

Annika Sorenstam accused the Americans of bad sportsmanship as controversy over one of her fourball shots ensured that emotions, even tempers, were running high on the final day of the Solheim Cup at Loch Lomond.

While the Swede teed off in the first of the concluding series of singles matches, referee Barbara Trammell was unable to scotch the impression that there had been some opportunistic gamesmanship on the part of Pat Hurst and Kelly Robbins.

Sorenstam, paired with Scotland's Janice Moodie, had chipped in for a birdie from the rough beside a bunker on the 13th hole - only for the US side to complain that she had played out of turn.

After the shot was replayed, the Americans went on to win the hole, and the match, by 2 and 1.

In tears

However, when she was interviewed afterwards, Sorenstam - who had been left in tears on the green following the row - said: "It is just really sad to see that the ugly part of them came out, because both Pat and Kelly are the nicest they have and it is just sad to see that, that they don't even have sportsmanship."

Annika Sorenstam
Annika Sorenstam begins to cry as the row escalates
Moodie suggested that it had all just been a misunderstanding - but there was no doubt that the Europeans felt aggrieved, captain Dale Reid insisting that Sorenstam thought that she had received the nod from the Americans to play her shot.

Trammel told a press conference that she believed that Robbins had not realised that she had been closer to the hole than Sorenstam until she had returned to her ball.

"She was shocked and was agonising about what to do and it was her captain, Pat Bradley, who made the decision," she said.

Yard further

However, Trammel could not explain why the Americans had not realised that Sorenstam was playing out of turn while the Swede was preparing to make her shot.

It is just really sad to see that the ugly part of them came out
  Annika Sorenstam
The whole incident delayed play by 10 minutes as the teams argued the point, with Trammell having to pace out the distance between the two balls and discovering that Sorenstam had been more than a yard further from the hole.

While the Americans were within their rights under the rules of golf, there was no doubting that the Europeans felt hard done by.

Trammel admitted that "you could cut the air with a knife out there" following the row.

Greater incentive

European team member Trish Johnson had said the previous evening: "Ninety percent of the team play in the States all year long and it is not much fun every two years when you go back to play there and you know what they're thinking."

Now there was an even greater incentive, if that were needed, for the European team to win the four points they needed from the 12 singles to clinch overall victory and lift the Solheim Cup for the first time since 1992.

The controversy also appeared to gee up the crowd, the polite applause of the previous two days being replaced by far more impassioned decibels as the singles began.

For Sorenstam, though, there seemed little doubt that she had been affected adversely by those earlier events, the world No.2 quickly falling three behind Juli Inkster in the leading match and going on to lose 5 and 4.

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