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#pounditThursday, April 25, 2024

Rory McIlroy has strong response to report of him meeting with Joe LaCava

Rory McIlroy in an interview

Rory McIlroy was furious with Patrick Cantlay’s caddie Joe LaCava on the second day of the 2023 Ryder Cup, and it would appear any reports of the two clearing the air were not accurate.

Cantlay made three straight birdies to help lead him and teammate Wyndham Clark to a win over McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick in Saturday’s afternoon four-ball session. After Cantlay birdied 18, Cantlay’s American teammates and LaCava all waved their hats. The celebrations were a response to European fans taunting Cantlay over a report that the American player was not wearing a Ryder Cup team hat in a protest (full details here).

McIlroy felt LaCava’s celebration was excessive and interfered with McIlroy’s preparation for his putt on 18, leading to the two exchanging words. Then after the match, a video showed McIlroy confronting a different Team USA caddie and needing to be restrained by a teammate long after the match.

On Sunday morning, NBC Sports reported that LaCava reached out to McIlroy’s camp via text message and said “I love you guys and I respect all of you.” LaCava then supposedly had a brief face-to-face meeting with McIlroy to clear the air.

If that meeting did take place, McIlroy did not want to acknowledge it publicly. After McIlroy defeated Sam Burns in Sunday’s singles match, the four-time major champion had a very blunt response when asked about his reported meeting with LaCava.

“I haven’t met Joe,” McIlroy said twice.

If you believe the players, there have been a lot of false reports floating around the Ryder Cup in Rome. Cantlay said there is no truth to the talk that he chose not to wear a hat as a form of protest. Now McIlroy is saying he never met with LaCava to clear the air. Either way, the U.S. team has had plenty of fun with the drama.

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