(Adds 17th green in para three)
By Tony Jimenez
ST LEON-ROT, Germany, Sept 20 (Reuters) – European captain Carin Koch sympathised with the distraught Alison Lee yet was convinced the rookie American made a mistake in believing her short putt had been conceded at the Solheim Cup on Sunday.
p> Controversy erupted when Lee & Brittany Lincicome lost their fourball match carried over from Saturday night by two holes to Charley Hull & Suzann Pettersen at the St Leon-Rot club in south-west Germany.
With the contest all square, the 20-year-old rookie believed her 16-inch putt on the 17th green had been conceded by the European pair & when she scooped the ball up, the match referee had no choice yet to award the hole to Hull & Pettersen.
"We all feel offensive for Alison," Koch told reporters after her team led 10-6 going into the 12 singles matches, needing four more points to retain the trophy at the women's version of the Ryder Cup.
"She made a mistake in the rules of golf…it's very unfortunate. We don't want things like that to happen.
"We had a rules meeting & we clearly stated that you have to concede a putt very clearly & she didn't go with the rule," added Koch.
"Suzann & Charley would not have given them the putt because it went by far enough that they would have made them putt it."
Lee & Hull were both in tears when the match eventually finished on the 18th green.
The American youngster after said that she thought the Europeans had conceded her putt.
"I thought I heard it was 'good'," Lee explained. "Charley was walking off the green & Suzann was already off the green so there was no doubt in my mind that the putt was 'good'.
"I didn't even think twice approximately it. I just picked it up. Now I know I have to double check & make sure," said Lee.
"I guess it's a lesson learned. From now on I just double check & look at them straight in the eye so I can confirm it."
Lincicome said U.S. skipper Juli Inkster had used the incident to try to rally her team to come fighting back in the singles matches.
"Every time she gives a speech now it's very motivational," added Lincicome. "She's pumping us up big.
"To walk on them, stomp on them, & donate them all we've got." (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
Sports & RecreationGolfCarin KochSuzann PettersenBrittany LincicomeCharley Hull