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easy ryder ‘There was zero drama’ – Pádraig Harrington plays down Ryder Cup ball issue

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Pádraig Harrington reacts following a putt on the 17th green during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington reacts following a putt on the 17th green during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington reacts following a putt on the 17th green during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Defeated Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington has dismissed as “making a mountain out of a molehill” claims that a golf ball issue that forced him to change two foursomes partnership at Whistling Straits was a major factor in Europe’s record 19-9 defeat.

The Dubliner, who makes his Champions Tour debut in Florida on Friday, planned to pair Lee Westwood with Paul Casey but ended up splitting them up to play with Matthew Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland after one player felt uncomfortable putting with the other’s ball.

A report in the Sunday Telegraph suggested Harrington only discovered Westwood and Casey played different makes of Titleist ball during Wednesday’s practice round.

However, Harrington roundly dismissed that notion yesterday, insisting they knew all balls the players played but only made the switch between players in the same pod when one player complained he found it difficult to putt with the other’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.”

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