Northern Ireland

Rory McIlroy 'angriest I have been in a long time' as he describes Ryder Cup confrontation with caddie

Rory McIlroy angrily confronts US caddie Jim Mackay following Saturday's play at the Ryder Cup. Picture: LifeOfTimReilly/X
Rory McIlroy angrily confronts US caddie Jim Mackay following Saturday's play at the Ryder Cup. Picture: LifeOfTimReilly/X Rory McIlroy angrily confronts US caddie Jim Mackay following Saturday's play at the Ryder Cup. Picture: LifeOfTimReilly/X

Rory McIlroy has spoken of giving a US caddie a "mouthful" in an angry exchange caught on camera at golf's Ryder Cup.

The world number two golfer, who hails from Holywood, Co Down, was seen in a confrontation with the caddie on Saturday at Italy's Marco Simone club.

The heated exchange ended after McIroy was ushered into a vehicle by his Europe teammate, Co Offaly's Shane Lowry.

Footage of the incident circulated on social media ahead of Europe going on to claim victory over the US in the prestigious event on Sunday.

McIroy later explained how the exchange was sparked by earlier celebrations by US caddie Joe LaCava as the Co Down star lined up a putt after one taken by US player Patrick Cantlay.

He said the caddie was "standing directly in my way" as he prepared to take his putt.

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He told the Guardian newspaper how he later confronted another US caddie, Jim 'Bones' Mackay in the club carpark after the incident, in which he was heard shouting "it’s a f*****g disgrace, he can’t get away with it".

"I don’t feel like I was afforded the same opportunity to make a putt as Patrick was," McIroy said, adding: "I thought it was completely disrespectful. It is the angriest I have been in a long time.”

He continued: "It was red mist more than anything else. I was actually about to drop my bag and go into the American locker room because I was so angry but Shane kind of held me back from doing that.

"The first American I saw was Bones Mackay and I know he is close to Joe so I let him have a mouthful.”

McIroy revealed he later apologised to Mackay in a text, but added: "It is a point of contention and it still hurts."

Meanwhile, fans at the club outside Rome greeted McIroy with a version of The Cranberries' hit Zombie on Sunday as he made his way to the tee, with the crowd substituting the lyric 'zombie' in the chorus for 'Rory'.

The song has been adopted by Irish sports fans, including at the Rugby World Cup, where thousands sang it following Ireland's recent win over South Africa in Paris. However, the use of the song has sparked debate on social media due to some claiming the 90s rock anthem - written in the wake of the IRA's bombing of Warrington in 1993 - downplays the experiecnes of nationalists in the north during the Troubles, while others have said it should be sung as it is a "peace" song.

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  • Zombie by The Cranberries: What is the song about?