One of the two players accused of backstopping on the LPGA last week has issued a strongly worded rejection of those claims.
Amy Olson came under fire after a greenside chip during the Honda LPGA Thailand event saw her ball collide with that of Ariya Jutanugarn, which was left unmarked close to the hole.
Footage on social media appeared to show Olson indicating to Jutanugarn not to mark her ball as she was ready to play. After the balls collided, the two players then gave each other a fist bump.
Watch the incident for yourself here…
This has prompted a furious backlash from social media users, who essentially accused the pair of cheating.
However, Olson has refuted that in the strongest possible terms, insisting that there was ‘no collusion’.
“I’m all for a healthy discussion of whether ‘backstopping’ should be expanded beyond what is currently written in the rules,” she wrote. “The situation on Friday was innocent. There was no collusion and no intent on either of our parts for me to gain an advantage.
“The fact that Ariya gave me a fist bump show that she’s a classy individual who celebrates other people’s success – just like she did earlier that day on hole 10 when I made an eagle and she routinely does with anyone she’s playing with.
“However, we are competitors and anyone who used the word ‘cheater’ to apply to Ariya or me should be held accountable for their words.
“While I care about my own reputation, I find it even more important to clear Ariya who has the highest integrity of anyone on tour. Period.”
The 26-year-old American added: “To those who have presumed to know our intent and accused from behind their computer or phone screen, remember that we are real people with reputations, character, and values we live out daily. The things that have been said have been extremely hurtful and have made the past two days some of the hardest I’ve ever to had to go through.”