McIlroy angry as Europe edge closer to Ryder Cup

2 months ago 55
Venue: Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Rome Dates: 29 Sep - 1 Oct
Coverage: Live radio commentary on BBC Sounds, live text updates on BBC Sport website and daily highlights on BBC Two

Europe need four points from Sunday's 12 singles matches against the United States to regain the Ryder Cup after a scintillating Saturday in Rome.

The hosts hold a 10½-5½ lead and no side has come from five back to win in the event's 96-year history.

Europe dominated the morning alternate-shot foursomes, winning 3-1 to extend their lead to 9½-2½.

But Patrick Cantlay won the last two holes with birdies to eke out a point as the US took the final session 3-1.

The day ended on a sour note with Rory McIlroy confronting Cantlay's caddie Joe LaCava on the 18th green amid a chorus of boos from the thousands of fans surrounding the hole.

Northern Ireland's McIlroy was annoyed that LaCava had trampled on the line of his own putt as he celebrated Cantlay sinking a 30-footer. Justin Rose and Lowry were equally upset with the American celebration as they too confronted LaCava.

McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick both missed birdie chances that would have resulted in a halved match at Marco Simone Golf Club.

The world number three was magnanimous when he spoke to the media, saying: "They played a great match, and yeah, I mean, a few scenes there on 18 and just fuel for the fire."

Video footage of a still-riled McIlroy soon appeared with Shane Lowry pulling his European team-mate away from what appeared to be another confrontation.

The rest of the American players had celebrated Cantlay's final birdie by waving their caps in the air, a reference to the fact he has not worn a cap all week. It is understood he is refusing to do so amid reports he is not getting paid to play in the biennial contest. However, in his post-round news conference, he addressed that by saying "it just doesn't fit, it's as simple as that".

Rory McIlroy confronts Patrick Cantlay's caddie on the 18th greenRory McIlroy confronts Patrick Cantlay's caddie, Joe LaCava, on the 18th green

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