Paige Spiranac defends ‘passionate’ caddy who McIlroy confronted in car park

Paige Spiranac has come to the defence of the “passionate” caddy who sparked Rory McIlroy’s rage at the Ryder Cup.

A furious McIlroy had to be held back by team-mate Shane Lowry as he launched a foul-mouthed attack on a member of Team USA on Day Two. McIlroy was seen pointing his finger in the direction of a caddy and using the F-word before being bundled into a car by Lowry.

McIlroy’s fury is believed to have stemmed from an incident on the final hole of his and Lowry’s fourball defeat against Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark, where Cantlay’s caddy Joe LaCava celebrated in McIlroy’s direction. The pair were spotted exchanging words on the green while boos were aimed at the US team from the European fans.

READ MORE: Rory McIlroy will be called into urgent team meeting after Ryder Cup car park rage

READ MORE: Rory McIlroy's furious F-word car park bust-up explained as Ryder Cup tensions explode

The drama then spilled out into the car park at Marco Simone. But golfer-turned-social media star Spiranac took the side of her compatriot LaCava on Twitter.

The influencer tweeted: “Caddies take a lot of s**t and their jobs are undervalued. Joe LaCava’s one of the best around. Cantlay was put through the wringer for the entire round so I don’t blame Joe for being passionate about his player/job. The singles matches are going to be fun.”

Responding to a fan who accused LaCava of disrupting McIlroy’s pre-shot routine, Spiranac added: “I wasn’t there so I can’t know for sure but he didn’t look that close to Rory from one of the camera angles. Not the best way to handle the situation but to be expected considering the circumstances. Didn’t seem that disruptive to me”

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Yet former European Tour player Mark Wallace said he was unhappy with LaCava's antics, who he believed crossed the line. He told BBC 5 Live: "I'm not going to lie, I was booing with everyone else here. That was pretty spicy there. I can accept giving it back.

"As much as you are giving it, you’ve got to be able to take it. But Rory still had his putt there – so get out of the way. Once you’ve done your little bit, get out of the way. Don’t carry it on. That wasn’t right.

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"I think Joe LaCava was still interrupting Rory when he’s got to play. He waved his arms like it didn’t mean anything but you’ve got to have sportsmanship at the end of the day."

Europe captain Luke Donald said on Saturday that he would be speaking with McIlroy about the incident. Donald watched the events unfold from the side of the green, insisting the 34-year-old only reacted the way he did because he was "passionate" about winning.

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