New video replays have shown precisely why Rory McIlroy was so enraged by Patrick Cantlay’s caddie Joe LaCava at the Ryder Cup on Saturday.
McIlroy was seen shouting at Justin Thomas’ caddie Jim ‘Bones Mackay outside Marco Simone after becoming enraged by LaCava in the defeat to Cantlay and Wyndham Clark.
LaCava, who is famous for being on Tiger Woods’ bag, took his hat off and swirled it around when Cantlay made a decisive putt on 18 in the crucial last four-ball match.
The Americans were hitting back at the home crowd, who had mocked Cantlay all day amid reports he is refusing to wear a USA cap in protest over lack of pay at the Ryder Cup.
However, McIlroy still had a putt to tie the match, and LaCava got a little too close to the Northern Irishman during his celebrations.
It is poor etiquette to stand on a player’s putting line at a local public course, but experienced and legendary caddie LaCava appeared to stand on McIlroy’s at a pivotal moment in golf’s biggest team event.
A new camera angle shows LaCava walking on McIlroy’s line as he surveyed the putt – and subsequently being told to move by the stunned Europe star.
Teammates Shane Lowry and Justin Rose also confronted the caddie at the back of the 18th green after the incident.
At the time, some thought the Europeans were just bitter after losing a decisive match to a player who the crowd had singled out all day.
Cantlay produced three brilliant birdies at the 16th, 17th and 18th to flip the match and give USA a glimmer of hope in Rome.
However, it has quickly become clear McIlroy was angry for a more valid reason.
Speaking afterwards, captain Luke Donald said: “Rory politely asked Joe to move aside. He was in his line.
“He stood there and didn’t move for a while and continued to wave his hat. So I think Rory was upset about that.”
Despite Cantlay’s late show, USA still require the largest comeback in Ryder Cup history in Sunday Singles to retain the trophy.
Europe, meanwhile, will win with four points from the remaining 12 matches.
talkSPORT 2 will bring you live commentary of the decisive singles matches starting at 10am on Sunday!