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Caddie Joe LaCava has reportedly apologised to Rory McIlroy following the pair’s Ryder Cup confrontation.
The experienced looper drew the ire of European talisman McIlroy for an over-zealous celebration in front of the Irishman after his man, Patrick Cantlay, converted a birdie on the 18th to snatch a dramatic late point for the US.
The row extended from the golf course into the car park where a furious McIlroy was filmed remonstrating with another caddie, Justin Thomas’ man Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay, before being pushed away into a waiting car.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, European captain Luke Donald said that McIlroy was upset at LaCava’s behaviour following Cantlay’s dramatic birdie at the last, with both Rory and playing partner Matt Fitzpatrick facing birdie putts of their own.
“When Patrick made that putt, Joe was waving his hat,” said Donald. “Rory politely asked Joe to move aside from his line of vision. He stood there and didn’t move for awhile and continued to wave the hat.”
The unsavoury incident overshadowed an otherwise extraordinary day at the Ryder Cup and threatened to bubble over into Sunday’s decisive singles session.
However, according to NBC television, LaCava made efforts to diffuse the controversy last night.
In a text sent to McIlroy’s camp, he said: “Love you guys, I have nothing but respect.” He then requested a face-to-face meeting with the former world No.1.
That meeting reportedly took place this morning where the air was cleared.
Whilst many were quick to support LaCava and speculate over what part McIlroy may have played in exacerbating the incident, high-profile figures from both sides of the Atlantic condemned Tiger Woods’ one-time looper for his antics.
One of those was Paul Azinger. In an appearance on Sky Sports this morning, 2008 US Ryder Cup-winning captain said: “Joey was out of line. He has no business saying anything to another player. He was definitely out of line.”
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