Rory McIlroy reportedly raged against not one, but three Team USA caddies as his anger refused to cool on day two of the Ryder Cup, even after the Northern Irishman returned to the team hotel.
The Team Europe talisman lost his cool in Marco Simone’s car park after Saturday’s fourball session when he was seen shouting angrily at another American caddie, Jim ‘Bones’ MacKay, before being run over by team-mate Shane Lowry in a BMW 4×4 was bundled.
McIlroy’s outburst came after he was left fuming when LaCava, Cantlay’s caddie, stood in his line of sight twirling his cap while trying to line up a match-saving putt on the 18th.
The 34-year-old’s frustration was directed at MacKay, as he claimed Justin Thomas’ bagman was ‘just the first American I saw after coming out of the dressing room’.
McIlroy admitted that Tiger Woods’ caddy had been ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’ and texted him the morning after to apologize.
Rory McIlroy’s Ryder Cup parking rampage reportedly continued at the team hotel
McIlroy had an altercation with LaCava on Saturday after taking off his cap and waving it in celebration
McIlroy also let loose on Ricky Elliot, an Irishman coming at Brooks Koepka
However, it appears Bones wasn’t the only American caddie to get an earful from the European leader, as he also let loose on Ricky Elliot, an Irishman looking for Brooks Koepka, according to Team USA vice-captain Fred Couples .
“He yelled at Bones,” Couples said via Golf.com, “which is disrespectful when his wife is standing feet away from him saying words that shouldn’t be said. Now I’m on Rory’s side too – because I love Rory McIlroy to death – but when you’re angry and you want to fight, you’re going to say things. Is that disrespectful?’
Couples added that Elliott told him that McIlroy “came toward me in the middle of the hotel foyer.”
Fans at a raucous Marco Simone had mocked Cantlay throughout the round by waving their hats in the air after an earlier report claimed he was not wearing a cap as a form of protest over not being paid to compete in the tournament – something he has adamantly denied , suggesting it was instead because he wanted to avoid tan lines ahead of his wedding on Monday.
When Cantlay sank a stunning 30-footer to put the US on the brink of winning his match with Wyndham Clark against McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick, he responded by miming the doffing of a hat – while tasman LaCava lifted his spun joyfully in McIlroy’s field of vision.
“I asked him what was said,” Couples said on his radio show. “He said Rory looked at him and said, ‘Mooove.’ And he made sure the ooo lasted a little longer.
“And Joe replied, ‘Relax, Rory.’
LaCava also exchanged heated words with Lowry, who was standing on the greenside.
Couples was among members of the U.S. team, including Thomas, Jordan Spieht, Max Homa and Collin Morikawa, who waved their caps from the side of the green to celebrate Cantlay’s putt – as LaCava’s altercation with McIlroy ensued.
Members of Team Europe objected to LaCava’s celebrations and lack of etiquette
Shane Lowry was seen exchanging words with the legendary caddy on the putting green
During the broadcast, McIlroy was said to have disagreed with LaCava celebrating near his line
The Americans waved their caps – a nod to European fans’ taunts over the hat controversy
But the US assistant captain insisted he saw nothing disrespectful in their celebrations.
“I want someone to tell me that everything that happened is disrespectful,” Couples said. ‘I have not seen it. Patrick shouted, which he doesn’t do very often, and tapped his fake cap. We all stood at the front of the green. Nobody moved. We just took off our hats and made little circles with our hats.
‘It’s the last game of the day. We’re absolutely getting hammered. Now we have the chance to get half. But what, did someone do a Justin Leonard, run across the green? Not Patrick.’
He added: “Rory, God bless, Rory, because when he makes a putt in the Ryder Cup he screams and shouts ‘vamos’ and ‘let’s go’ and all that. That’s what you have to do. Joe LaCava was standing (on the green). I don’t think he’s moved a meter.’
Footage of the incident shows LaCava moving more than 60 yards and coming within five feet of McIlroy’s ball as the European assessed his putt.
“People think he silenced Rory when he did that hand gesture,” Couples continued. “Little Harry Diamond, who we all love too, is caddying for Rory, and then he intervened. So Joe said, “I don’t have time for you.”
“Then Joe turned and got out of the way. And…Shane Lowry and (European assistant captain) Thomas Bjorn shouted some things at him, which is fine. I don’t have any problem with Shane Lowry or Thomas Bjorn; they protect the number one player on their team. But no one did anything wrong. (LaCava) didn’t run into (McIlroy). He wasn’t above him. In college football it wouldn’t be a fifteen yard penalty for taunting. … He said he was six feet away. Was Joe right? Probably not. (But) has anyone disrespected the European team?’
Couples then said that as he hurriedly left the 18th green, he bumped into Lowry and Europe’s assistant captain Thomas Bjorn.
‘Shane Lowry and Thomas Bjorn both put their hands on my shoulder and said, “That’s bullshit. That’s so wrong. What just happened?”
Couples said that as he left the 18th green he encountered Lowry and Thomas Bjorn (L).
“I said, ‘Look, guys, I’m not here to argue about it. We won a point. I didn’t see anything terrible.”
“And then Lowry said, ‘Well, I was in Whistling Straits,’” referring to the 2021 U.S. Ryder Cup course, where the Americans beat the Europeans by 10 points.
“As I kept walking,” Couples said, “I just looked back and said, ‘What does that have to do with anything?’
After the Europeans secured a 16.5-11.5 victory on Sunday following a thrilling singles showdown, McIlroy addressed the previous day’s failure.
‘We thought it was disrespectful. And it wasn’t just disrespectful to Fitz and me. It was disrespectful to the entire team.”
He added: “I understand we get chatter when we go to the States to play, and the same thing happens here. It’s just the way it is. That’s how it goes with the Ryder Cup. And you have to have thick skin. That’s just the way it is.’