With the R & A announcing the release of the latest edition to the Rules of Golf, we take a look back at some of the most controversial rules decisions in the women's game. 

Solheim Cup, Golf Rules

With the R & A announcing the release of the latest edition to the Rules of Golf and last month's Solheim Cup shrouded in controversy, we take a timely look back at some of the most controversial rules decisions in the women's game. 

Annika Sorenstam and Kelly Robbins- 2000 Solheim Cup

This year's controversial incident between Suzann Pettersen and Alison Lee was not the first time a player has been reduced to tears during a Solheim Cup tie. In 2000 during a Saturday afternoon fourball match at Loch Lomond, then world number two Annika Sorenstam appeared to have closed a one-hole deficit against the American pairing of Kelly Robbins and Pat Hurst after chipping in from off the green. Robbins had other ideas however and after consulting with the referee ordered that the Swede's shot be retaken. Whilst the rules dictate that in matchplay, an opponent can force a player to take their shot again for playing out of turn, Team Europe were angered by what they branded an "unsporting" decision.

Whilst the Europeans would lose the match 2 & 1, the team would recover to claim the Cup for only the second time in their history.


Jane Blalock Cheating Controversy 

Blalock boasts an issustrious career, winning 27 LPGA Tour events and holding the Tour record with 299 consective cuts. Her career was marred however by accusations of cheating, beginning in 1972 at the Bluegrass Invitational.

The leading money winner on the Tour that year, Blalock improperly marked her ball on the 17th hole and failed to incur a two-stroke penalty on herself for committing the act.

The consequence was costly for the American. Within two weeks of the event the LPGA announced that they were suspending Blalock for a year, claiming that the player had been under suspicion for some time for illegally moving her ball, that there were witnessess to these happenings and that Blalock herself had admitted to her guilt. Specifically her crime was considered to be marking her ball slightly ahead of the marker.

The saga did not finish there however, as Blalock, alleging that her suspension amounted to  a group boycott, filed a five million dollar lawsuit against the Tour. In 1974 the court ordered the LPGA Tour to pay damages to Blalock which would eventually total $95,303. While the LPGA never formally cleared Blalock of cheating she would continue to play, and be extremely successful, on the LPGA Tour well into the 1980's.


Juli Inkster At The Safeway Classic 

The announced changes to the Rules of Golf which take effect on January 1st 2016, will include a new clause which reduces the penalty for a golfer who is spotted committing a rules infringement by a fan on television.

This was not the case in 2010 however when World Golf Hall of Famer Juli Inkster was called for a rules violation during the 2010 Safeway Classic. The 2015 Solheim Cup captain was spotted appearing to use a practice aid while passing time on the tee box. The use of the weighted donut, which she affixed to her 9-iron, was only spotted by a TV viewer who emailed the LPGA to inform them that Inkster had violated Rule 14-3, which states that a player is banned from the use of any form of practice aid during play. 

Only three stokes off the lead at the halfway stage, the mishap resulted in Inkster's disqualification from the tournament. A win at age 50 would have made Inkster the oldest winner in LPGA Tour history.


Jackie Pung, 1957 U.S. Women's Open

The heartbreak of Roberto De Vicenzo, who missed out on a play-off for the Green Jacket after incorrectly signing for the wrong score, is a tale oft told. Less well known is the story of Jackie Pung (pictured below on the left) who appeared to have clinched the 1957 U.S. Women's Open at Winged Foot by a stroke from Betsy Rawls, only to be disqualified for recording a five instead of a six on the fourth hole of the final round. The members of Winged Foot and USGA officials were so aggrieved by the situation that they took up a collection and presented Pung with more than $2,000, a sum that exceeded the first-prize winnings.