Rory McIlroy says his row with caddie Joe LaCava was the angriest he’s ever been in his golfing career.
On Saturday, McIlroy was annoyed that Patrick Cantlay’s caddie LaCava – who has 36 years of caddying experience – initially didn’t move out of the way, instead continuing to wave his cap over his head in celebration of Cantlay’s birdie on the last.
The Northern Irishman had reportedly asked LaCava, thought to be 68, ‘politely’ to move out the way, yet the caddie continued to ignore the request for some time.
Despite the controversy a day prior, McIlroy secured a 4 & 3 victory over USA’s Sam Burns, helping Europe on their way to Ryder Cup victory.
Afterwards, an emotional McIlroy told BBC 5 Live: ‘Walking off the 18th yesterday was probably the angriest I’ve ever been in my career. I said it to the US guys, I thought it was disgraceful what went on and I made that clear.
McIlroy had argued with LaCava on Saturday after he took off his cap and waved it to celebrate
McIlroy and LaCava were involved in a heated confrontation following the incident
‘I needed that to fuel me today and not let it 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 bit of fire in our bellies.’
McIlroy went on to say he had texted Mackay and apologised to the caddie before the start of the singles. ‘He was the first American I saw outside the locker room, I texted and apologised,’ said McIlroy. ‘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 he was ‘relieved’ to be held back 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 felt it was disrespectful, to the whole team, we get the banter when we go to the States and play. It’s the way the Ryder Cup goes, you have to have thick skin. We’ve texted. Everything will be fine. It’s a point of contention, it still hurts. But time’s a healer.
He was then seen launching into a livid rant at someone while leaving Marco Simone Saturday
‘I just wanted to win another point for Europe. Ever since Whistling Straits I was so disappointed in my performance there, so to come here and get four points for the team means a lot to me.
‘It’s a great bounce-back after Whistling Straits. The team we have is incredible. It’s a young team that I think will be around for a long time.’