Caddy spat: McIlroy’s anger spills from greens to car park at Ryder Cup
1st October 2023

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Rory McIlroy had to be directed into his car by Ryder Cup teammate Shane Lowry on Saturday after getting into a heated argument in the parking lot of the Marco Simone Golf Club outside Rome.

Footage captured by NBC showed McIlroy screaming, “This can’t happen. This can’t happen. It’s a (expletive) disgrace.” He was originally held back by his wife before Ireland’s Lowry stepped in front of him and directed him toward his vehicle.

Rory McIlroy talks to a Team USA caddie on the 18th green during the Saturday afternoon fourball matches of the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.Credit: Getty

The outburst came after McIlroy and Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick lost their match against Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark of the United States team on the 18th hole.

Cantlay sank three consecutive birdies, including a 43-footer at No. 18, en route to the victory over McIlroy and Fitzpatrick.

He then made the motion of his tipping his cap to the crowd, which had been mocking him by waving their hats in the wake of a report by British media that Cantlay wasn’t wearing a team-issued hat to protest American players not getting paid to participate in the Ryder Cup.

Cantlay’s caddy, Joe LaCava, also waved his hat while on the green. McIlroy asked LaCava to move out of his way, which LaCava did, but then the caddy was shown saying something to McIlroy.

“Obviously, I was there on 18,” European captain Luke Donald said. “I saw it unfold when Patrick made that putt. Joe was waving his hat. Obviously, there was some hat-waving going on throughout the day from the crowd for our players.

“Talked to Rory. He politely asked Joe to move aside. He was in his line of vision. He stood there and didn’t move for a while and continued to wave the hat, so I think Rory was upset about that.”

McIlroy believes the banter at the 18th will only add more intrigue to Sunday’s play.

“Patrick made three great putts at the end to seal the deal, so hats off to them,” McIlroy said. “They played a great match, and yeah, I mean, a few scenes there on 18 and just fuel for the fire (Sunday).”

– Field Level Media

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