Before the opening session of the devastating USA defeat, Europe’s Ryder Cup plans were thrown into disarray.
Before the Ryder Cup had started, Padraig Harrington’s squad was having problems.
Padraig Harrington, the captain of Team Europe in the Ryder Cup, was forced to make a last-minute change to his pairings barely 24 hours before the first foursomes session on day one was to be announced.
After cruising to a record-breaking 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits, the European team suffered its most humbling setback in the modern era of the team match play tournament.
And it’s now been revealed that the European’s issues began even before the tournament began, when it was discovered that several of his pre-paired pairings were unable to play together due to the use of a different ball.
According to the Telegraph, Harrington’s plans were thrown into disarray on the Wednesday before the tournament was set to start on Friday when he learned that Lee Westwood and Paul Casey, as well as Viktor Hovland and Matt Fiztpatrick, would be unable to play alongside each other due to the fact that they were using different models of the popular Titleist ball.
“Perhaps they should have thought about the ball issue earlier,” an insider told the Telegraph, “since it is always part of the equation when putting two players together in a foursomes.” But they’re all Titleist players, so you’d think it’d be alright. However, there are many Titleist balls.” As a result, on the eve of the tournament, the Irishman was forced to rethink his pairings after it was revealed that Fitzpatrick had been using the Titleist Pro V1x ball since 2019, while Hovland had been using the Pro V1 since 2021.
The situation was similar for Lee Westwood and Paul Casey of England, who, like their other two teammates, play the famous Titleist ball but utilize different models, resulting in some chopping and shifting among the four.
On day one, Fitzpatrick teamed up with Westwood, while Casey teamed up with Hovland. However, the changes didn’t seem to assist the visitors, as both pairs lost their foursome matches, as the Americans set the tone for the tournament by winning the first session 3-1.
Captain Harrington may not have had this problem prior to 2006, because before the event at the K Club, players were allowed to swap balls every round. “Brinkwire News Summary.”