Ryder Cup 2023: Rory McIlroy held back by Shane Lowry in WILD clip. Ryder Cup now officially drunk
After another foursomes session pummeling by the European team on Saturday morning in Rome, it appeared as though the 2023 Ryder Cup was dying a very slow death. All it took was a 3-1 afternoon session victory by the American squad, capped off by a monstrous birdie putt by Patrick Cantlay, to dial up the spice levels to 11.
Actually, 11 could be underselling it. We're talking ghost-pepper levels of heat. It had been simmering all afternoon, when word of Cantlay reportedly refusing to wear a hat in protest of players not being paid to play in the Ryder Cup spread across the Marco Simone grounds like wildfire. The European fans were on him the rest of the day, even coming up with an A+ song to troll him.
The thing is, the trolling brought the best out of Patty Ice, who went birdie-birdie-birdie on his own ball on the final three holes, the last two of which were both to win the hole. This bomb earned the United States team a crucial full point that cut the deficit to only five heading into the final day, and the reactions, by Cantlay, his caddie Joe LaCava and teammates, were understandably emotional:
Apparently, LaCava got into it, too. Which some on the European side, including Rory McIlroy, who still had a putt to tie the match, did not appreciate, according to NBC on-course commentator John Wood:
There was even a photo of Shane Lowry appearing to tell LaCava to chill out:
As they say, caddies are to be seen, not heard. But tensions are high at the Ryder Cup, and LaCava was simply defending his boy. And that's that. Right?
WRONG! Things boiled over afterward outside the clubhouse, where Golf Channel's Live From cameras captured this absolutely wild clip of McIlroy being held back by Lowry while seemingly pointing at someone out of frame. Jim "Bones" Mackay, Justin Thomas' bag man, is also in frame attempting to play peacemaker:
Absolute scenes, as the Europeans say. There will be more to come on this situation from the grounds, but for now all we can say is, somehow, Joe freaking LaCava got in the heads of the European side, and we will all have our collective popcorn ready for Sunday morning. A once dead Ryder Cup has suddenly become one of the most heated events in recent memory. Stay tuned.