Paul McGinley has resigned as one of Europe's assistants to captain Nick Faldo for next year's Ryder Cup.
McGinley was named as one of Faldo's assistants in May
The news comes on the eve of the Seve Trophy in which Faldo is captaining the Britain & Ireland squad.
There was some surprise that Faldo did not name McGinley as one of his two wildcard picks for the competition.
Faldo insisted his decision had not contributed to McGinley's resignation, adding: "From the start he (McGinley) was concerned about the workload."
He added: "I spoke to Paul last week and he said, 'I've got a lot of events coming up'. I can sense the rumblings and then we spoke this morning and he decided to withdraw his position.
"He told me he was really concerned about the workload that will be involved as vice-captain, because he wants to play himself into the team for Valhalla.
"Good luck to him. The man holed a winning putt on the Ryder Cup and that's the sort of player I want on my team."
Earlier this year Faldo named Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal and McGinley - two members of last year's winning side - as his two assistants for the 2008 competition in America.
But he said he would select late alternatives should either qualify as players.
It's a chance to get to know the players on both sides and maybe a few magical pairings will come out of it
The British & Ireland squad, which will play Seve Ballesteros' Europe side, has no Irish players in it, with Faldo opting for Simon Dyson and Marc Warren as his wildcards.
But Faldo added: "I felt I should put the young guns in who were chomping at the bit to play. I spoke to Paul and he is comfortable with my picks."
But Radio 5live reporter Alistair Bruce-Ball said there might be more to the story than meets the eye.
He said: "It is certainly interesting timing announcing it on the eve of the Seve Trophy when he knew Nick Faldo would be surrounded by journalists, rather than slipping it under the radar next week.
"Faldo overlooked McGinley as a wildcard for this event, which raised eyebrows considering he didn't have an Irishman in his team.
"When asked about it last week McGinley said, 'It is best if I don't comment on that'.
"It adds fuel to the fire for those who thought Faldo might run into situations like this as he hasn't always got on the best with his fellow professionals."
Britain & Ireland have won three of the previous four matches and are favourites to triumph again.
Just two of Europe's top-10 players will be at the event and both - Justin Rose and Paul Casey - will be on Faldo's side.
Europe are without its four highest-ranked players - Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Niclas Fasth and Anders Hansen, while Faldo is missing Open champion Padraig Harrington, British Masters winner Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Ian Poulter because of injury or other commitments.
Faldo said he hoped the competition would give him valuable lessons for next year's Ryder Cup in Louisville, Kentucky.
"It's a chance to get to know the players on both sides and maybe a few magical pairings will come out of it that I will pay attention to," he said.
"It might be an opportunity to be experimental and see how it works out, but I am sure it will be a very valuable experience."
The event has been expanded to four days from three in previous years.
Tee-off times for Thursday's opening fourballs at The Heritage, Killenard (all times BST):
1035: Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren v Peter Hanson and Robert Karlsson
1050: Bradley Dredge and Phillip Archer v Miguel Angel Jimenez and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
1105: Paul Casey and Simon Dyson v Raphael Jacquelin and Gregory Havret
1120: Nick Dougherty and Graeme Storm v Thomas Bjorn and Soren Hansen
1135: Justin Rose and Oliver Wilson v Markus Brier and Mikko Ilonen