Europe’s recent Ryder Cup captain and three-time major winner Pádraig Harrington has played down the importance of having to make late changes to two of his foursomes’ partnerships at the recent event.
Harrington, who captained the side in their record breaking 19-9 defeat to the U.S.A. at Whistling Straits, believes that being forced into pairing Lee Westwood with Matthew Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey with Viktor Hovland rather than sticking with his original duo of Westwood and Casey due to one player being uncomfortable putting with their compatriot’s ball was a non-issue and that people were “making a mountain out of a molehill”.
The Sunday Telegraph had reported that the English pair of Westwood and Casey played with different types of Titleist balls, something that Harrington only became aware of during a practice round on Wednesday.
Harrington refused to accept that report, however, as he confirmed that he knew the make of balls that the European players played with but changed his pairings due to an issue with one of his player’s putting his partner’s ball.
“The same four players just switched partners,” Harrington said. “It was no drama though and when I did hear the story back, I thought, ‘Wow, you are really making a mountain out of a molehill there’.
“One guy just found the ball ‘clicky’ and so we said why don’t we just switch it over and do this. It was a very very minor change, and you were always prepared to make those changes.
“I haven’t seen any social media, but I have heard I was being hung out for telling guys on Tuesday that they were playing foursomes on Friday but as I say nothing is ever set in stone and a partnership changed because it needed to change.
“It really wasn’t any drama, and I was surprised to see it was made out as if it was a drama. There was zero drama.”