The 44th Ryder Cup in Italy has become one for the history books, not least because of the enthusiasm on and off the field. This culminated in a confrontation between Rory McIlroy and Joe LaCava, Patrick Cantlay’s experienced holder. As the Northern Irishman prepared for his strike, Lacava stood very close to him – ostensibly to celebrate Cantlay’s brilliant score. Later that day, the struggle continued unabated in the parking lot of Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. It was a comprehensive win for a dominant European team.
look. Captain Luke Donald: “Rory got angry and I understand that”
With a shot from more than 9 metres, Cantlay had a birdie putt (one stroke under par, which is the number of strokes a golfer must take to putt the ball), good for a strong comeback with Windham-Clark against the McIlroy-Fitzpatrick duo. LaCava signal to celebrate enthusiastically. So he waved his hat in the air, just as Cantlay had done. This was in response to European fans bullying him all the time by waving his hat in the air. The fans did this to harass Cantlay for not wearing a hat in protest. He would like golfers to get paid to play in the Ryder Cup – something he later objected to.
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European captain Luke Donald (our compatriot Nicholas Colsaerts is vice-captain), then: “I spoke to Rory and he politely asked Joe to step aside. But he was in his field of vision and standing there, waving his hat too. So I think Rory was annoyed by that. And what? If it bothers McIlroy, because later on Saturday there was a confrontation between McIlroy and LaCava in the parking lot. McIlroy used the so-called F-word and accused the Americans of cheating. It was fellow Irishman Shane Lowry who got McIlroy back into the car.
US Captain Zach Johnson saw the incident a little differently. “A celebration is a celebration and with such a big putt on the 18th hole for the Ryder Cup, I think you have the right to celebrate with your team and that’s exactly what I saw.”
This incident will only make Rory McIlroy and Team Europe more nervous. When the Northern Irishman appeared on Sunday morning, he overtook Cantlay and his Lacava beam. He said in an interview that the events only served to fan his inner fire.
The Ryder Cup also eventually went to Europe, which had been in the lead throughout and also finished on Sunday. They were not willing to give up a five-point lead at home. Englishman Tommy Fleetwood gave Europe the decisive half-point, bringing their total to 14.5, ensuring the final victory in the traditional match against the United States.
Europe has now won eight of the last eleven Ryder Cups. The Europeans need to set the record straight after the historic 19-9 pandering they suffered two years ago in the Sfeir Strait.
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