Rory McIlroy says he used his bust-up with US caddie Joe LaCava as ‘fuel’ for his victory at the Ryder Cup on Sunday.
McIlroy was angered by the conduct of LaCava, caddie for Patrick Cantlay, on day two of the Ryder Cup as he celebrated on the green after Cantlay sunk a 43-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
The Northern Irishman still had to putt to tie the match and argued that LaCava’s celebrations on the green were putting him off as he prepared to take the shot.
McIlroy missed the putt, allowing Team USA to pull a point back on Team Europe.
However, McIlroy was still seething after his match and television cameras caught him angrily shouting at LaCava in the car park.
On Sunday, McIlroy beat Sam Burns in his singles match to pull Team Europe closer to a victory and the 34-year-old claims the incident on the previous day provided motivation for Team Europe.
‘I needed that to fuel me today and not let it take away from what’s been a great week,’ McIlroy said.
‘I felt like I used it to my advantage, I came out here with a different level of focus, a different level of determination.
‘I think it actually, in a way, gave the whole team a bit of a… it lit a fire under our bellies a bit.
‘I just wanted to come out and win another point for Europe.
‘Ever since Whistling Straits, I was so disappointed in my performance there, to come here to Rome and get four points for the team it means a lot to me and hopefully we can just get it done.
‘I feel it’s a great bounce back for us after what happened at Whistling Straits. The team we have is incredible, it’s a young team and I think it will be around for a long time, The support we had this week has been absolutely unbelievable.
‘It’s been a great week for me personally but we need to go and follow boys and get them in the house and get this over and done with. I’m pretty confident, I feel like we’ve played the back nine pretty well this week so I have full confidence in the boys to get the job done.’
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