Playing different balls makes Ryder Cup alternate shot format more interesting

One of the more interesting things to watch for in this week’s Ryder Cup is golf balls. True, the Ryder Cup is supposed to be a “team” event, but in the alternate shot format, players who play different brands of golf balls probably will be paired together.

Keegn Bradley

For example, if Tiger Woods is paired with Zach Johnson, each will be hitting the other’s ball throughout the alternate shot round. Woods plays a Nike One Tour D ball and Johnson plays a Titleist Pro V1x. Keegan Bradley plays a Srixon Z Star and Matt Kuchar plays a Bridgestone Tour B330.

On the surface that doesn’t sound important because you figure these guys can hit anything well. But the fact is, they’re also creatures of habit, so sound, feel and flight performance do matter if they’re playing with a ball they’re not used to hitting.

Bradley, however, is willing to take one for the team.

“I know that we’ve spoken a little bit about just playing one ball the whole way around.  I’m fine with playing whatever ball,” Bradley said. “You know, the balls are so similar now that I think that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal for me personally.”


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