July 23, 2024

Rory McIlroy flew into a rage at the Ryder Cup on Saturday after clashing with Patrick Cantlay’s caddy Joe LaCava, but Team USA vice-captain Fred Couples had a very different view of the exchange.

Fred Couples, vice-captain of the US Ryder Cup team, has hit back at Rory McIlroy following an argument with the Northern Irishman’s car park attendant at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome.

McIlroy was furious on Saturday night after the final four-ball match of the day.

With Europe dominating after two days of play, Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark earned a point over McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick to give the Americans a glimmer of hope of a comeback.

McIlroy was angry not at the result but at the behavior of Cantlay’s caddy, Joe LaCava.

The former Tiger Woods fundraiser celebrated wildly on the 18th green after Cantlay made a 35-foot birdie.

The former FedEx Cup champion faced criticism from the crowd throughout the day after Sky Sports controversially reported that Cantlay had left the US team room “broken”.

The report claims that Cantlay refused to wear a Team USA hat on the field to protest not being paid for playing in the Ryder Cup.

So, when they won hole 18 to take a 10.5-5.5 lead, the Americans celebrated around the green, waving their hats in the air.

LaCava joined us, but he was in the middle of the green and McIlroy was still waiting to make the putt.

McIlroy told LaCava to move, but the American fought back in an exchange that was widely criticized.

And the argument continued in the parking lot as the teams got ready to head to their hotels, with McIlroy filmed getting angry at Justin Thomas’s caddy, Jim “Bones” McKay.

The couple has since revealed that McIlroy also had some choice words for Brooks Koepka’s pick-up guy Ricky Elliott in the hotel lobby.

McIlroy described LaCava’s actions as disrespectful, but speaking on his SiriusXM PGA Tour radio show, Couples believed McIlroy himself had crossed the line.

“He yelled at Bones, which was disrespectful when his wife was standing just a few feet away from him and saying things that shouldn’t have been said.

Now I’m also on Rory’s side because I love Rory McIlroy to death.

But when you’re angry and want to fight, you say it. Is that disrespectful?”

Couples admitted he thought LaCava made a mistake with his actions on the 18th green, but he said the incident was blown out of proportion. He say:

“I asked him (LaCava) what he said.

He said Rory looked at him and said, ‘Mooove.’ And he made the ‘ooo’ sound a little longer. And Joe said, ‘Mooove.

‘ “Relax, Rory.” “I wanted someone to tell me how disrespectful everything that happened was. I haven’t seen it. Patrick screamed, something he didn’t do often, and dropped his fake hat. We were all in front of the lawn. No one moved. We just took off our hats and made little circles with our hats. “Joe LaCava was standing (on the grass). I don’t think he moved a foot. People thought he shut Rory up when he made that hand gesture,” the couple said. “Little Harry Diamond, who all of us caddies loved, was for Rory, and then he walked in. So Joe said, ‘I don’t have time for you.

“Then Joe turned and walked away. And Shane Lowry and (European vice-captain) Thomas Bjorn were shouting at him, which was good.

I have no problem with Shane Lowry or Thomas Bjorn: they defend their team’s number one player.

But no one did anything wrong. “(LaCava) didn’t see (McIlroy). He is not above him.

That wouldn’t be a 15-yard penalty in college football for taunting.

He said he was 6 feet away. Is Joe right? Sure is not.

Is there anyone who disrespects the European team?

McIlroy tried to overcome the drama the following day by scoring his fourth point of the week to complete the best performance of his Ryder Cup career. He defeated Sam Burns in singles on Sunday, helping his team win 16.5-11.5.

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