Solheim Cup 2013: Biggest Takeaways from Controversial Tourney
The end result of the 2013 edition of the Solheim Cup is all but assured with Europe heading into Day 3 with a historic lead.
Europe, winners of the last rendition of the biannual tournament in 2011 at the Killeen Castle Golf Resort in Ireland, jumped out to a historic lead with 10.5 points to America's 5.5 heading into singles competition as Golf Digest points out:
Solheim Cup: Europeans lead 10.5 to 5.5, matching the largest lead in the Solheim Cup history. http://t.co/tjtLdPa18Z— Golf Digest (@GolfDigestMag) August 18, 2013
Not only is it a historic lead, but it also essentially wraps up the tournament with Jay Coffin of the Golf Channel reporting that no team has ever come back on the third day from more than a two-point deficit.
It has undoubtedly been a disappointing tournament for America outside of one player, but the dominance Europe has displayed has been a sight to behold. The officiating, on the other hand, not so much.
Even worse? This would be Europe's first Solheim Cup win on American soil.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the tournament thus far, with the end result all but made official.
Note: All statistics and other relevant info courtesy of Solheim Cup's official website.
Michelle Wie Was the Right Choice
Many questioned the selection of Michelle Wie before the tournament, but those that did can now easily see Wie is one of the lone bright spots in what has otherwise been a pathetic showing for the Americans.
The first day of action saw Wie record one point for her country, which is a great tally considering the team as a whole only scored three as it fell behind 5-3. She recorded five birdies in her first contest. Peter Burns of Fox Sports documented Wie's unique play style:
Michelle Wie with the "80 degrees when I tell that trick please" putting stroke at Solheim Cup. pic.twitter.com/Xeu3l5pvLP— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsRadio) August 16, 2013
Wie may be unorthodox in her play style, but she was dominant. Day 2 saw her nail the winning putt on the 17th hole while teamed with Brittany Lang to down the pairing of Suzann Pettersen and Beatriz Recari.
Things have not been perfect for Wie, but she's playing much better than most and giving fans something to be happy about, as minute as it may be.
Europe is Littered With Veteran and Rookie Talent
America was outclassed in every way, and it's a sign of things to come as Europe has a terrifying mix of both veteran and rookie talent.
Veteran Karine Icher led Europe on Day 1. Paired with Azahara Munoz, Icher sparked an easy victory over the American duo of Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer by sinking three birdies from 20 feet or longer in a three-hole stretch.
The veterans shined, but rookies got the best of America as well. Going into the tournament, not many gave credit to Europe's rookie duo of Charley Hull and Jodi Ewart-Shadoff.
They know better now after the duo managed to knock off America's best team in Day 2 action.
Hull, a 17-year-old phenomenon, led Europe to a shocking sweep by finishing off Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson. She nearly hit a hole-in-one on the 17th hole with the match tied before knocking down a four-foot putt.
Europe has plenty of veterans to contribute, but the future is amazingly bright as well.
Officiating Issues Need Correcting
Every sport has officiating issues because of the fragility that is human judgment. The Solheim Cup is no different, as officials took upwards of 30 minutes to make a decision on Friday that ended up being incorrect anyway.
In a nutshell, on Friday Europe's Carlota Ciganda was permitted to take an illegal drop about 40 yards off the mark after hitting a ball into a water hazard, but the ruling of the match is not allowed to be changed because she was incorrectly instructed by the officials.
It would not have made a major difference in the outcome either way, although some will argue the tempo was ruined and the Americans could have kept a better pace if they did not have to wait.
The incorrect ruling was such a black eye that the LPGA itself opted to release an official statement on the matter:
We regret that an incorrect ruling was given and we apologize for any confusion that was caused on the course for the players. Ultimately, Ciganda proceeded to play according to the final ruling she was given and the result of the match does not change. Both captains (Meg Mallon & Liselotte Neumann) were briefed on the matter.
In an international tournament of this caliber, mistakes like this cannot happen. That especially goes for mistakes made after about 30 minutes of attempting to get it right.
Either way, the Americans were swept through the first two days, but a level playing field fair to both sides needs to be in place. It's a minor issue on top of an overall bad performance by the Americans, and a jaw-dropping one by team Europe.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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