Home' New Zealand Golf Magazine : NZGM September 2013 Contents Mention the Ryder Cup or Solheim Cup and you think of intense rivalry and incredible golf when the
players are under so much pressure. Competitions in recent years have been dramatic and some of
the best golf viewing ever seen. Only just last year the Europeans needed an unlikely 8½ points in the
inal day singles from a possible 12 against one of the strongest American teams ever assembled. Incredibly they
got exactly that number to win 14½ - 13½
Drama is also part of the Solheim Cup, the women's Ryder Cup equivalent, which was irst played in 1990. The
Europeans had never won in the United States but that all changed when they dominated at the Colorado Golf
Club last month winning by a comfortable 18 - 10. What made the viewing even more intriguing was a couple of
tense rules situations that arose and the focus that each received in the coverage. What was also obvious was that
with each ruling the team captains became involved and whilst not di icult decisions it dragged out the process.
During the irst day afternoon four-ball match Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson were playing Suzann Pettersen
and Carlota Ciganda. Ciganda hit her second shot on the par ive 15th hole into the right-hand lateral water hazard
and after locating her ball within ive minutes, the referee in the match advised Ciganda of her options. Prior
to Ciganda receiving a inal ruling, the match referee consulted with the lead rules o icial who then instructed
Ciganda of her options. Rule 26 1c (ii) reads, a player who hits into a lateral water hazard is allowed to take
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equidistant relief on the other side of the hazard. However, instead of dropping within the required two clubs lengths
as per the rule, Ciganda was permitted to keep the equidistant point between her and the hole resulting in a drop
approximately 40 yards behind that mark. While dropping in this manner is permitted under 26 1b, it is not permitted
under 26 1c (ii) which was applicable to this situation. This ruling not only took 27 minutes, but it was incorrect.
The decision was called into question by the U.S. Team and after the matches were inished, the rules sta reached
agreement that a mistake had been made in the on-course ruling. At the time the ruling did have a bearing on the
match with Ciganda going on to halve the hole with her opponents and then winning on the 18th hole. Both captains
were noti ied of the issue in a meeting following play, but as the player was instructed by a rules o icial to drop where
she did there would be no change to the result.
On the second day there was another long and unfortunate dispute between players when trying to determine
the point of entry of the wayward shot of Spaniard Beatriz Recari. Three people, one a TV on course commentator,
identi ied the point they believed to be the point of entry, however their opponents did not agree. It took 31 minutes,
with discussion leading to arguments, before a decision was made. In this situation you use your best judgment and
if I was the referee the evidence of the three witnesses would have also helped me make a decision.
History will show that in 2013 the Americans were outplayed and no doubt the 2015 Solheim Cup, which will be
played for the irst time in Germany, will be an event that many look forward to with great anticipation. Let's just hope
that that the match is played in the appropriate spirit and that any rulings are handled more e ectively.
Words Phil Aicken,
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