Irish golf ace Padraig Harrington has a new message for his legion of critics: step off.

Less than four months after Harrington was disqualified at the Abu Dhabi Championship, during the final round of the US PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in North Carolina on Sunday, the star avoided his second disqualification of the year and finished with a fourth-round, four-under-par 68 to finish tied for ninth, his third top-10 of the year in America.

Before he signed for the round, Harrington responded to the fan’s allegation.

"It’s just not conclusive," Harrington said. "It looks close on TV, no doubt about it, but it isn’t conclusive. For once I’m not going to be a martyr and take it. No, it’s just not conclusive, so there’s no penalty."

Harrington's playing partner also rallied to his defense.

"I remember watching him move the ball back, and he checked it. I’m fine with it," Mickelson said.

"You know, it’s things like this that as a player you don’t ever want any calls under question because you value your integrity more than anything, and Padraig has more integrity than anybody out here.

"The fact that one person would say something, I don’t ever want that to come into question because he’s constantly checking to make sure he’s playing by all the rules. It’s not an issue. Padraig is one of the most honourable guys we have on Tour."

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