Rory McIlroy’s fiery temper flared up once again during the Ryder Cup, as the Northern Irishman reportedly ranted at not one, but three Team USA caddies. McIlroy’s frustration started during the Saturday fourball session, when he was seen screaming at US caddie Jim ‘Bones’ MacKay in the car park at Marco Simone. This outburst came after McIlroy was left fuming when Pat LaCava, Patrick Cantlay’s caddie, stood in his line of vision twirling his cap as he attempted a match-saving putt on the 18th hole.
McIlroy admitted that his anger was misdirected at MacKay and apologised to him the next morning. However, it seems that MacKay wasn’t the only target of McIlroy’s fury, as he also got into a heated argument with Ricky Elliot, an Irishman who caddies for Brooks Koepka. Team USA vice captain, Fred Couples, revealed that McIlroy had confronted Elliot in the middle of the hotel foyer.
The incident occurred after Cantlay sank a remarkable 30-foot putt that put the US on the brink of victory in his match with Wyndham Clark against McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick. Cantlay celebrated by mimicking taking off a hat, while LaCava waved his hat in McIlroy’s line of vision. Members of the European team took exception to this celebration and engaged in arguments with LaCava and the other US team members.
Couples defended the American team’s actions, stating that he didn’t see anything disrespectful in their celebrations. He explained that Cantlay’s celebration was not excessive, and the US team merely took off their hats and made little circles with them. Couples also mentioned that McIlroy often celebrates loudly after sinking putts in the Ryder Cup, so it’s hypocritical to criticize the American team’s actions.
While tensions were high during the Ryder Cup, McIlroy acknowledged that banter and taunting are a part of the competition. He stated that it’s necessary to have thick skin and accept the nature of the Ryder Cup. However, he felt that the actions of the US team were disrespectful not only to him and Fitzpatrick but to the entire European team.
In the end, the incident did not impact the outcome of the Ryder Cup, as Europe secured a 16.5-11.5 victory over the United States. McIlroy’s outburst serves as a reminder that even in a prestigious and highly competitive event like the Ryder Cup, emotions can run high and tempers can flare.
As the dust settles on the Ryder Cup, players and fans alike can reflect on the intense competition and look forward to future editions of this historic tournament. It’s important to remember that while rivalries and tensions may arise, there is still a great deal of respect and camaraderie among the players, as evidenced by McIlroy’s subsequent apology to the US caddie.