Juli Inkster urges Solheim Cup crowds not to heckle Europe’s Suzann Pettersen

first_imgShare on Pinterest Annika Sorenstam knows 2015 affair lingers as she takes Solheim Cup reins Topics news Share via Email Golf Support The Guardian Share on LinkedIn However, when pressed on the fact Pettersen “hadn’t actually done anything wrong” Inkster suggested her thoughts on the incident remain firm.“I think we might disagree on that a little bit,” the captain added. “If you watched it, there’s not one person that’s standing there staring at Alison, like, ‘Mark it’. Everybody’s walking off the green and it was a good, I want to say, three seconds, three to four seconds before Alison really went over and picked the ball up. It wasn’t like she hit the putt and went and picked it up. She was, like: ‘Oh, I can’t believe I missed that ball’ and then walked around and then she picked it up.“So it’s 2015. I don’t know why we’re talking about it. I would have never said that [what Pettersen did]. But that’s just me personally.”Charley Hull, who partnered Pettersen at the time of the 2015 incident and is also back in the team, said: “If I got booed, it would motivate me even more.”Further evidence of a lingering issue relates to an element of US greens protocol. “I just think you’ve got to have one person in the group, they’re in charge of giving putts,” Inkster said. “And that’s kind of the way I’ve done it with my team. One person takes control of giving the putts and that way we don’t really have any controversy.”The US are firm favourites to retain the cup but had already seen preparations disrupted by the enforced withdrawal of Jessica Korda through injury – Paula Creamer has been added as a replacement – before Lexi Thompson was struck by illness last weekend.“Lexi’s got a virus,” Inkster revealed. “She’s had a sore throat for the last three days. She’s just hitting a few shots out there. She’s been under the weather. I’m a little worried about her. Everybody else seems to be in good shape.”Should Thompson’s problem persist, it seems Angela Stanford would be called up. Stanford was overlooked as Creamer replaced Korda.“It was really between Paula and Angela Stanford,” said Inkster. “I just felt Paula was probably playing a little bit better and has played on more Solheim Cup teams. Her record’s a little better. She’s really good in alternate shot, that I could come and put her in any pod or anything and she would be able to adapt.“I know what I’m getting with Paula. Not that I don’t know what I’m getting with Angela, too, but I just felt like if I asked her to do it, she would do it. It’s not the best situation to be in, because I had to tell Paula I didn’t pick her and I had to let her yell at me for a little bit. Then I told her, ‘But would you …?’ And she said yes.“I just felt like she would be the one to come in, she’s used to kind of being under the microscope and under the pressure and I just thought she could be able to handle it.” Share on Facebook US sportscenter_img Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp Solheim Cup Read more Juli Inkster, the USA’s Solheim Cup captain, has urged the anticipated record crowds at the event in Iowa this weekend not to abuse Suzann Pettersen. The last meeting of the US and Europe, two years ago in Germany, was hugely overshadowed by a controversy involving Pettersen and Alison Lee.Pettersen was widely castigated after refusing to concede a tap-in putt which Lee had already picked up, technically in error. After insisting she had done nothing wrong in the immediate aftermath of a European defeat, Pettersen issued a lengthy statement of apology the next day. Quite naturally, the Norwegian player will be back in the spotlight when the Solheim Cup begins in Des Moines from Friday.“I really don’t think it’s going to be a big deal,” insisted Inkster, who was also the US captain in 2015. “I know it’s not on our side. If anybody can handle it, it’s Suzann. But I hope they don’t heckle her. I hope they respect her and respect her play. It was two years ago, we’ve moved on and I’m sure she’s moved on too.“I don’t think anything really affects Suzann. I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal one way or the other.” Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img

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