Fuming Padraig Harrington last night erected a Ryder Cup wall of silence as controversy raged over Nick Faldo’s shock decision to pick Ian Poulter ahead of Darren Clarke.
The triple major winner uncharacteristically failed to return calls and texts requesting his view on Faldo’s wildcard gamble.
And Harrington’s silence spoke volumes about what he really thinks of Faldo’s captaincy tactics, which Ryder Cup insiders believe have wrecked team morale.
Minutes after watching Sunday’s announcement on TV in the clubhouse at TPC Boston, Harrington was reluctant to comment as he cleared out his locker.
Initially he could not think of anything to say to the the Associated Press before diplomatically stating that Poulter and Paul Casey would “strengthen the team.”
But privately, Harrington cannot believe that Faldo has snubbed one of Europe’s talismanic figures.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to the European camp revealed: “Harrington normally doesn't curse but you wouldn't believe the expletives when he heard that Clarke hadn't been picked. He just couldn't believe it.
“Westwood rang Padraig on Sunday night and had an absolute hissie fit. It is as if Faldo went out of his way to annoy the team.
“If Faldo wanted to annoy the players, he could not have made a worse choice. I know of two players and one caddie who have backed America at 11/8 to win the Ryder Cup this year.
“There is absolute meltdown in the camp and if the public knew that was said in private, there would be bedlam. Padraig feels that the atmosphere is really going to be affected.
“At the Seve Trophy last year, Monty was the father figure in the team room and Faldo felt threatened by him.
“By bringing in Poulter, Faldo feels know that he can shout the odds with no opposition. Garcia is obviously his lapdog.
“Clarke was invaluable to that team. He was a lock to play with Westwood and like Garcia, he plays four or five shots above himself in the Ryder Cup.
“He has been absolutely shafted to massage Faldo's ego and that is not going to work. The only saving grace is that the Americans are not that great.”
Ryder Cup veteran Des Smyth and former skipper Bernard Gallacher have said that Faldo’s decision to snub Clarke will affect team morale.
Smyth, a vice-captain at the K Club in 2006, said: “It doesn't make any sense. By anyone's calculations, except Nick Faldo's, he just couldn't leave Darren out. He would have been my first pick.
“He won in China earlier in the year and he won the other week in Holland to really stake his claim. He went head to head with Henrik Stenson in the last round - our No 3 Ryder Cup player in terms of the world rankings - and he beat the lard out of him basically. That was a clear cut selection for me.
“It was very clear watching the interview yesterday that he made Jose Maria Olazabal very uncomfortable. But Olazabal had to support his captain.
“But that is the Faldo way. He does things, wouldn't give much of an explanation and he is just going on what he says is a gut feeling and I hope he is right.
“We are disappointed that Darren isn't playing. The two guys he has picked are great players and I don't think the team is weakened. Maybe the morale might be a little bit.”
Without Clarke and Faldo, Harrington will reluctantly be forced to perform a cheerleading role that does not suit his personality.
After the Open, Harrington reluctantly conceded: "I will certainly have to step up to the bat at some stage. Maybe take over that position."
But SunSport’s source said: "Harrington is the guy who has a quiet word, he is not the guy who is rallying the troops.
“Padraig knows he is the number one player on the team and he knows that he has to toe the party line or the whole thing will fall down around him.
“But Faldo doesn’t understand the dynamic of that team room. He came out last year and said the reason Europeans hadn’t won majors was because they are took chummy.
“Now he's bringing that mentality to the Ryder Cup and team management doesn't work like that. Teams only work if they want to play for their captain.
“Any chance Faldo had of repairing some of the damage went on Sunday night when he closed the door on Paul McGinley.
“He could have been a hero by going for Clarke. There is a great bond there in that team. There was a great little nucleus there.
“If he had picked Clarke and brought McGinley in as vice captain they would have been a shoe in to win the Ryder Cup. McGInley is very popular and gets on very well with all the players. But Faldo has gone out and done the exact opposite.
“As a player he was unbelievable because he did it his way and won six majors. But he has shown he has the brains of a sausage and he is not going down well as a team captain.”
To make matters worse, Harrington is mentally shattered after winning back to back majors in the PGA at Oakland Hills.
He has missed the cut in the first two FedEx Cup play-off events and looks set to slump to 47th in the race to win the $10 million top prize.
Only the top 30 after this week’s BMW Championship will make it to the Tour Championship finale in Atlanta, the week after the Ryder Cup.