Sagstrom reduced to tears after rules official makes her mark at Solheim Cup
The rules of golf are comprehensive, they are far-ranging and they are, at times, a little bit crazy.
Even the cattiest observer would struggle to find fault in what Madelene Sagstrom did on the 13th hole in Toledo, Ohio, on Sunday but golf officials are catty by their very nature. Missy Jones just lived up to her title. She was the referee who, having watched Swedish golfer Sagstrom pick up Nelly Korda's ball seven seconds after it stopped dead on the edge of the hole, was about to hit the Europeans with a ruling even Korda hadn't considered.
That was the ten second rule, it was unbelievably harsh and as you watched her stutteringly explain it to the European duo afterwards, it was very easy to understand why the whole continent was up-in-arms. As is always the case with a controversy like this one, the call proved telling and it proved decisive, with Korda and her partner Ally Ewing going onto win the respective match by, you guessed it, one single hole.
Watch the controversy unfold via Sky Sports below.
Have you ever seen such a home-town decision in your life? The rule-official's uncertainty says it all.pic.twitter.com/fcSglyflTA
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) September 5, 2021
After the round, Sagstrom was visibly and understandably upset as she came to terms with Jones' bizarre ruling - bizarre on the grounds that the ball hardly appeared to be hanging over the hole.
"I personally don’t agree with the decision with the ball being on the edge," said the European, "but I didn’t follow the 10-second rule, so it sucks right now because I feel like I let my team down."
To make matters worse and for a reason only they could explain, the boisterous American crowd went onto boo the Swedish golfer over the course of her five remaining holes. Thankfully, Europe had the last laugh as, inspired with two points from Leona Maguire, they lead by 5.5 to 2.5 after the opening day's golf.