Lewis miffed after long delay at Solheim Cup

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PARKER, COLO. (AP) - The chants of “USA! USA!” ringing through the 15th green shifted to “While we’re young! While we’re young!”

For 25 minutes Friday at the Solheim Cup, Americans Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson paced around, putters in hand, bending and flexing to stay loose. They were waiting first for European Carlota Ciganda to find her ball, which was lodged in knee-high scrub in a hazard, then for a cadre of rules officials to tell Ciganda where it was legal to drop.

“That’s not golf,” Lewis said.

At least not by the rules.

Hours after Ciganda took her drop, hit to 15 feet and salvaged a par to halve the hole, rules officials said they had made an incorrect ruling about the location of the drop. But there was no way to remedy the ruling after the fact, so the hole and the match stood.

Ciganda and Suzann Pettersen beat Lewis and Thompson 1 up after being 2 down earlier in the back 9. Europe closed out Day 1 with a 5-3 lead.

Lewis and Thompson, playing in the first match of the afternoon, were about two holes ahead of the foursome behind them when they got to the 15th tee box. By the time they putted, there were three groups stacked on the par-5 hole.

“It’s hard to just stand there because we’re not doing anything, and all of the sudden, you wait 25 minutes to hit a putt,” Lewis said.

American captain Meg Mallon, acknowledging the delay blunted American momentum across the course, said it wasn’t so much the incorrect ruling, as the time it took to be made, that ruined the day.

“That was my issue with the whole thing,” she said. “Here’s my team sitting there, after they are just charging and making a comeback, and then they have to sit. And so not only does it change the psyche of my team, but it changes the psyche of the other team, because they can have time to regroup.”

Lewis, who won the Women’s British Open earlier this month, lost both of her opening-day matches. Still steaming when the day was over, she confronted rules officials on the 18th green, but didn’t get any satisfaction. That was before the officials acknowledged they’d made the wrong call.

“It took way too long,” Lewis said. “It killed the momentum of our match, it killed the momentum of the matches behind us and it’s just not what you want the rules officials to ever do.”

___

ALL ACES: When looking for tips on how to handle the pressure, 20-year-old Solheim Cup rookie Jessica Korda didn’t have to look far.

On one hand she had her playing partner, Morgan Pressel, whose 8-2-2 mark is good for the best winning percentage among America’s active players. On the other, Korda has her dad, Petr Korda, the Czech native and 1998 Australian Open champion who was a stalwart on his Davis Cup teams in the 1980s and `90s.

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