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Padraig Harrington forced to scrap opening day Ryder Cup plans over ball issue

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Pádraig Harrington. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Padraig Harrington was forced to change his opening day foursomes pairings in the Ryder Cup because different players are used to playing with different golf balls.

Harrington and his vice captains were meticulous in their planning for the tournament against the USA at Whistling Straits but this oversight will be seen as a costly error as the Americans won the all-important first session 3-1 to send them on their way to a record 19-9 victory.

According to a report in the Telegraph, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey were due to play together as were Victor Hovland and Matt Fitzpatrick.

However, Harrington changed the pairings on the Wednesday with Westwood teaming up with Fitzpatrick and Casey playing with Hovland.

In foursomes each player takes every second shot so the same golf ball is used for the entire round and with the players in question using different types of Titleist balls, Harrington and his team decided to change the pairings.

“Maybe they should have thought about the ball issue earlier, as it is always part of the equation of putting two players together in a foursomes,” a source told the Telegraph. “But all four play Titleist and you might have thought it would be fine. Yet there are different sorts of Titleist balls.”

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