Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

Luke Donald has argued that Joe LaCava’s behaviour at this year’s Ryder Cup was out of order, as Patrick Cantlay’s caddie ‘overstepped the mark’.

The Englishman was left disappointed with LaCava’s antics on the 18th green and argued Rory McIlroy was right to feel upset.

Donald told The Times: “Rory was upset, quite rightfully, and these things happen at the Ryder Cup.

“It’s a passionate event. Joe overstepped the mark and tried to reach out after the fact and apologise but we just tried to use that as fuel for Sunday.

“I didn’t need to say much.”

LaCava, who formerly caddied for Tiger Woods, was spotted waving his hat towards McIlroy as the Northern Irishman read a putt.

The 68-year-old was berated for obstructing McIlroy’s line, as the mind games led to the famous car park bust-up that night.

• Winners and losers from DP World Tour regular season finale

• Major bosses shut down talk of LIV exemptions

A furious McIlroy confronted Justin Thomas’ caddie Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay, as his European teammates looked on.

McIlroy was clearly unimpressed with LaCava’s actions at the time and said the following day that the caddie was ‘disrespectful’.

But in an interview with the BBC, McIlroy said: “What transpired on that last green gave us a fire in our bellies to get the job done today.

“Things happen in the heat of the moment, tensions were high.

“Joe LaCava came into the European team room on the Sunday night and had a drink and a chat.”

LaCava’s hat-waving formed a response to ‘hat-gate’, as he mocked fans for their relentless hat-waving gestures throughout the day.

Unlike his American teammates, Cantlay opted to go hat-less, which sparked suggestions he was protesting not being paid to play in the cup.

• Sir Nick Faldo takes another swipe at LIV Golf

• 6 things you missed this weekend

But Donald also told The Times that he does not buy into the supposed pay dispute.

He said: “It’s one week where you play for more than yourself, not about money or points, it’s about coming together as a team and the fans feed off that — it’s all passion.

“I don’t think we should ever get paid. If you play well, you can get paid in other ways.

“Your brand will go up exponentially and certain people will have bonuses in their contracts, but if you want to keep the essence and history of the Ryder Cup, it needs to stay the same.”

As for looking towards the 2025 Ryder Cup in New York, Donald remained on the fence over his chances of retaining the captain’s armband.

Despite hoping it would never end, Donald said he will have to decide with his family as it is ‘a big ask’.

author headshot

John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses