After Michelle Wie controversially walked away from a hole too early at the 2013 Solheim Cup on Day 2, her apology should silence her critics.
Saturday was a key day for Team Europe, as the score widened in the visitors' favor. The Europeans are looking to win back-to-back Solheim Cups and win on American soil, both of which have never happened before.
Team Europe finished the second day by sweeping the four-ball session and saw its lead grow, 10.5 to 5.5. With 3.5 more points, the Europeans will make history.
Despite their domination, Wie captured some of the headlines by walking off the 16th green too early. She took off toward the 17th hole before her opponents, Caroline Masson and Caroline Hedwall, finished their putts. Jessica Korda, Wie's partner, stuck around to watch them.
It became a story that Wie didn't watch her opponents.
Whether she was upset with her performance or just had a lapse in judgement, she left the hole early. It's not proper etiquette, so people feel justified in criticizing her.
Wie smoothed things over on Sunday by issuing an apology on Twitter (h/t GolfChannel.com):
Feel absolutely horrible about running off the green on 16. Got caught up in the moment and was so tired that I forgot what was happening.— Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) August 18, 2013
But that is no excuse for my behavior. Truly sorry.— Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) August 18, 2013
The 23-year-old didn't have to apologize, but she realized that she made a mistake. She held herself accountable for her actions, and that's all anyone can ask from a young athlete.
She has been in the spotlight since 2005, when she first turned pro. She joined the LPGA Tour in 2009, and the world keeps waiting for her to become a dominant force.
There is no excuse for her leaving a hole early. She knows better than that and probably would have felt disrespected if someone had done it to her. It's a move that was made during a tough day for her team, and she will learn from it.
Was Michelle Wie's apology necessary?
Most professional athletes slip up. Wie is just the latest to make a mistake, and her fame ended up working against her in this situation. Had another golfer done the same thing, it probably wouldn't have gotten as much attention.
Give Wie credit for doing the right thing and apologizing. Her reputation may have taken a slight hit because of the incident, but she can only move on now.
The Americans are forced to try to make a miraculous comeback to win the Solheim Cup on Sunday, so Wie and her teammates will need to put the first part of the weekend behind them.
A mental mistake put her in the headlines for the wrong reasons, but Wie silenced her critics by issuing the apology.
*All scoring information is courtesy of LPGAScoring.com