- LaCava took off his cap and waved it in the air as Cantlay made the decisive putt
- McIlroy appeared enraged by his antics and was later seen losing his cool
- The Northern Irishman admits that his emotions got the better of him
Rory McIlroy says his fight with caddy Joe LaCava was the angriest he has ever had in his golfing career.
On Saturday, McIlroy was annoyed that Patrick Cantlay’s caddy LaCava – who has 36 years of caddying experience – did not initially get out of the way, but instead continued to wave his cap over his head in honor of Cantlay’s birdie on the last.
The Northern Irishman reportedly ‘politely’ asked LaCava, believed to be 68 years old, to move out of the way, but the caddy continued to ignore the request for a while.
Despite the controversy a day earlier, McIlroy secured a 4 and 3 victory over American Sam Burns, helping Europe on their way to victory in the Ryder Cup.
Afterwards, an emotional McIlroy told BBC 5 Live: ‘Going down the 18th yesterday was probably the angriest I’ve ever been in my career. I told the American boys, I thought what was happening was shameful and I made that clear.
McIlroy had an altercation with LaCava on Saturday after taking off his cap and waving it in celebration
McIlroy and LaCava were involved in a heated confrontation after the incident
‘I needed that to fuel me today and it shouldn’t take away from what has been a great week. I felt like I used it to my advantage and came out with a different level of focus and determination and in a way it gave the whole team a little fire in our bellies.”
McIlroy went on to say that he texted Mackay and apologized to the caddy before the start of the singles. “He was the first American I saw outside the locker room, I texted and apologized,” McIlroy said. ‘I was angry. I didn’t agree with what happened on 18. I let it fuel the fire today. It focused me and I went out and got the point. Joe wasn’t there.’
He added that he was ‘relieved’ to be stopped by Lowry, who then took McIlroy ‘to the cold plunge at the hotel to cool down too’.
“We talked about it as a team, we thought it was disrespectful, we get teased in front of the whole team when we go to the United States to play. That’s how it goes in the Ryder Cup: you have to have a thick skin. We sent a text message. Everything will be fine. It’s a bone of contention, it still hurts. But time heals.
He was then seen fuming at someone as he left Marco Simone on Saturday
‘I just wanted to get another point for Europe. Since Whistling Straits I’ve been so disappointed with my performance there, so to come here and get four points for the team means a lot to me.
“It’s been a great recovery from Whistling Straits. The team we have is incredible. It is a young team that I think will last for a long time.’