Rory McIlroy further explained his altercation with Joe LaCava after Europe won the Ryder Cup
Rory McIlroy said Joe LaCava didn’t “reciprocate” the spirit he played with before their row at the Ryder Cup.
LaCava, Patrick Cantlay’s caddie, stood in McIlroy’s line of vision with his putt on the 18th hole in the Saturday fourballs which later led to an altercation in the car park.
Footage emerged of McIlroy being held back and being ushered into a car by Shane Lowry, with Jim ‘Bones’ McKay also involved.
The Northern Irishman was “disappointed” at the flashpoint after revealing he and LaCava had since exchanged texts but hadn’t met in person. McIlroy said he also texted McKay to apologise.
“It was an unfortunate incident and I get it, ” he said at Marco Simone after Europe won the Ryder Cup. “We get it when we go to America and they get it when they come over, just with the fans and you know, it’s relentless.
“It’s tough to play under those circumstances at times.
“You need thick skin in Ryder Cups. That’s just how this goes, and yeah, I was disappointed on the 18th green because I felt like I’d played the match in the right spirit, and I don’t feel like that spirit was reciprocated to me on the 18th green.
“But we move on, and we’ve won the Ryder Cup. That’s the most important thing and that’s what matters.
“(I’m) just happy I’m here celebrating with my teammates, vice captains, and captain and the backroom team who are an integral part of making sure that we’re set up to succeed.”
During the winning team’s press conference, McIlroy admitted the incident still hurt, “but time is a great healer.”
What about the Rory McIlroy Ryder Cup future?
The four-time major champion was soaked in beer when speaking to a group of reporters following Team Europe’s celebrations after keeping their unbeaten home record dating back to 1993.
Despite picking up four points in five matches in Rome, McIlroy believes “he’s in the back nine” of his Ryder Cup career, having already played seven times for the blue-gold side.
It will be up to Europe to win away from home at Bethpage in 2025 before the event heads to Adare Manor in Ireland – something McIlroy is excited about.
He took his last point of the week in the singles against US rookie Sam Burns, but it was Tommy Fleetwood who clinched the decisive point that secured the cup.
“We’ve got a really tough task going to Bethpage in New York and you know what those fans are going to be like,” he added.
“I said it in the press conference, I think one of the greatest achievements right now is winning a Ryder Cup away from home, so as much as I am looking forward to Adare and I want to play there.
“We want to enjoy this for the next couple of years and then get ready for New York and try to do something that’s very seldomly done in golf.”
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