Rory McIlroy has been seen screaming and arguing with caddie Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay in a heated exchange while leaving Marco Simone on day two of the Ryder Cup in Rome.
European captain Luke Donald confirmed McIlroy was “upset” at Patrick Cantlay’s caddie, Joe LaCava, who was seen waving his hat close to the Northern Irishman has he prepared for a putt on the 18th green Saturday night at Marco Simone.
McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick were playing a fourball match against Cantlay and Wyndham Clark. Cantlay birdied the last two holes to help he and Clark win the match, 1 up. The American duo’s win meant the team’s deficit to Europe is 10.5-5.5 going into Sunday’s singles finale. The US need an unlikely 8.5 points from Sunday’s singles matches to tie and therefore retain the Cup.
A tweet earlier on Saturday from Sky Sports reporter Jamie Weir read that Cantlay had led a protest within the American team over players not getting paid to play the Ryder Cup, which they never have been in the biennial teams spectacle.
When fans at Marco Simone caught wind of the report on social media, they taunted Cantlay by waving their own hats from the galleries. US players, once Cantlay and Clark had defeated McIlroy and Fitzpatrick, all waved their hats to sledge the Europeans.
Donald said McIlroy felt LaCava, the former caddie for Tiger Woods, took it too far.
“Yeah I was there on 18 and saw it unfold,” Donald told media afterwards. “Joe [LaCava’ was waving his hat, and there was some hat waving going on from the crowd, not our players.
“I talked to Rory, [who said he] politely asked Joe to move aside [because he] was in his line of vision. [LaCava] stood there and didn’t move for a while, and continued to wave the hat, so i think Rory was upset about it.”
Footage has gone viral of McIlroy pointing at a person out of frame while yelling at Justin Thomas’ caddie, Mackay. McIlroy appeared to scream, “That is a f–ing disgrace,” at someone out of the shot.
“I was aware of it,” Donald said. “Obviously, Rory is a passionate player . We all are. I will speak to him later about it.”
Donald hinted a line was crossed during the controversial scenes.
“Um, listen, we are all competitive and want to win,” he said. “But we want to do it in the right way. From what Rory told me, he did ask Joe to move, and he took a while, so Rory got upset and I understand that.”
Donald also said it had no influence on his order of the Sunday singles matches, which are listed below.
“We still go out as 12 strong,” Donald said. “I’m not going to strategise upon those things. I will put line up I think will win us back the Cup.”
MATCH TIMES (LOCAL)
1 11:35am (8:35pm, AEDT) Jon RAHM vs Scottie SCHEFFLER
2 11:47am Viktor HOVLAND vs Collin MORIKAWA
3 11:59 Justin ROSE vs Patrick CANTLAY
4 12:11 Rory McILROY vs Sam BURNS
5 12:23 Matt FITZPATRICK vs Max HOMA
6 12:35 Tyrrell HATTON vs Brian HARMAN
7 12:47 Ludvig ÅBERG vs Brooks KOEPKA
8 12:59 Sepp STRAKA vs Justin THOMAS
9 13:11 Nicolai HØJGAARD vs Xander SCHAUFFELE
10 13:23 Shane LOWRY vs Jordan SPIETH
11 13:35 Tommy FLEETWOOD vs Rickie FOWLER
12 13:47 Robert MacINTYRE vs Wyndham CLARK