Rory McIlroy, the whole truth about La Cava

In an interview with the Irish Independent, Rory McIlroy delved into the incident between him and Patrick Cantlay's caddie, Joe LaCava, that garnered global attention during the Ryder Cup. Even Tiger Woods commented on the matter.

by Andrea Gussoni
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Rory McIlroy, the whole truth about La Cava
© Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images Sport

In an interview with the Irish Independent, Rory McIlroy delved into the incident between him and Patrick Cantlay's caddie, Joe LaCava, that garnered global attention during the Ryder Cup. Even Tiger Woods commented on the matter.

Rory McIlroy, statements

The Saturday evening altercation, which occurred after a contentious moment on the 18th green between McIlroy, Shane Lowry, and LaCava - who was deemed too demonstrative by the European team after Cantlay's successful putt - drew the attention of cameras as McIlroy vented his rage outside the players' hotel.

The Northern Irishman was visibly furious, even appearing to want to physically confront his four-ball opponent's bagman.

Following Europe's victory on Sunday evening, both McIlroy and Lowry talked at length about the incident and how it was resolved.

McIlroy, in particular, made some intriguing remarks, revealing that his relationship with Cantlay was cordial at best, and that they saw the world differently.

According to McIlroy, it was his icy relationship with Cantlay - who was reportedly teased by the European fans for refusing to wear a US hat for financial reasons - that sparked his ire.

Overall, the incident was handled professionally, and McIlroy's comments provide a more in-depth understanding of what triggered the altercation in the first place.

In a candid statement, he revealed the root of his anger: "I have a cordial, at best, relationship with Cantlay.

We don't share much in common and have vastly different worldviews. However, when he was being heckled by the crowd on holes 17 and 18, I tried to calm them down a bit for his benefit. And I don't believe that Fitz (Matt Fitzpatrick, his four-ball partner) and I had a fair chance to attempt our putts under ideal conditions to tie the match on hole 18."

"After they won the match, I extended my hand to Joe and Patrick.

The three birdie putts Cantlay sunk on holes 16, 17, and 18 were phenomenal under pressure, and they revitalized the American team's hope. I respect that."

"There was a minor altercation around the green involving Thomas Björn and Fred Couples (both vice-captains), but it was settled to a certain extent.

However, as I made my way toward the locker room, a surge of anger overtook me, and I knew something had to be done."

The rage was fueled by Shane Lowry's attitude, who vehemently expressed his dissatisfaction in the locker room.

"I cracked, I don't really want to go into details," admitted the winner of the British Open at Portrush. Inspired by his partner, Rory became a little unhinged. "We were about to leave for the hotel when I decided to go to their locker room to sort it out," McIlroy continued his account.

Shane tried to stop me. "Bad idea Rory!"

Now that LaCava has become this con's caddy...
Then the five-time major winner literally exploded when Jim 'Bones' MacKay, Justin Thomas' caddy, approached him in the parking lot. "He came to me to try and calm the situation.

But he was wearing a team USA cap and I know he's friends with Joe (LaCava). So that made me go crazy. I felt bad afterwards, because Jim's wife was with him and I used a lot of swear words. It wasn't my finest moment. Then Shane made me get in the car."

The story did not end there for this eventful evening...

Upon arriving at the hotel, Ricky Elliott and Claude Harmon, the caddie and coach of Brooks Koepka, approached me.

To my dismay, my outburst had already gone viral. They attempted to diffuse the situation, but I retorted, "Joe LaCava was a good guy when he was Tiger Woods' caddie, but now that he's carrying this 'jerk's' bag, he's become a true..." It was not a wise move on my part once again.

Later that night, I received a text from Joe asking to talk things out the next morning.

However, I was exhausted and did not respond that evening. Tiger Woods, who is still close to Joe given their former caddie-player dynamic, had also tried to contact me with three texts and two missed calls. I quickly replied, "Everything will be alright.

It's been a long day, I just want to go to bed."

Ultimately, everything ended well for Rory, Europe, and the relationship between McIlroy and LaCava. However, as for the relationship with Cantlay...

Rory Mcilroy Patrick Cantlay Tiger Woods
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