Rules question: Nelly Korda, Ally Ewing win 13th hole in Solheim Cup match after overhanging putt preemptively picked up

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Just as emotions run high at the Solheim Cup, reactions are quick. That was the case on Saturday in an afternoon four-ball match between Americans Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing and Europeans Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Madelene Sagstrom that saw a bit of controversy thanks to an overhanging putt and a quick reaction.

Europe had won the first two holes for a quick advantage that Koerstz Madsen and Sagstrom carried through the front nine. The two sides were tied by the par-5 13th, however, where Korda found herself with an eagle putt.

Korda’s long putt rolled right up to the lip and then hung there, causing the world No. 1 to drop to her knees in disbelief that it didn’t fall into the hole. The Rules of Golf allow a player to wait 10 seconds to determine whether or not the ball will actually fall into the hole. The only problem was that the Europeans didn’t wait that long.

Koerstz-Madsen instead conceded the putt by picking up the ball and tossing it back to Korda. An official then determined that because the ball was not given a reasonable amount of time to drop, as granted by the Rules, it was determined to be a holed putt. As a result, Korda and Ewing won the hole with eagle and went 1 up on their opponents.

The LPGA released a statement explaining the situation, citing Rule 13.3b which states that “if the opponent in match play deliberately lifts or moves the player’s ball overhanging the hole before the waiting time has ended, the player’s ball is treated as holed with the previous stroke, and there is no penalty to the opponent under Rule 11.2b.”

It’s a strange circumstance and a call that required a video replay to determine whether or not the ball was actually overhanging the hole.

According to the LPGA, “The chief referee, match referee, observer and TV observer all deemed that Korda’s third shot on No. 13 was overhanging the hole and was picked up by her opponent before the waiting time had ended. Therefore, her third stroke was treated as holed.”