Team Europe Tops Heckled US in Ryder Cup

Patrick Cantlay hears from fans on course in Italy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 1, 2023 2:05 PM CDT
Team Europe Tops Heckled US in Ryder Cup
Europe's Tommy Fleetwood, right, celebrates Sunday on the 17th green after winning his singles match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Guidonia Montecelio, Italy.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Europe won back the the Ryder Cup on Sunday, just like it always does before its raucous crowd, with Rory McIlroy leading the way and Tommy Fleetwood delivering the decisive point to extend its dominance over the Americans on home soil. The outcome was never seriously in doubt at Marco Simone, the AP reports. Europe started the final day with a five-point lead. McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland, and Tyrrell Hatton put the Europeans on the verge of the cup, forcing the Americans to win the remaining five matches on the course. There was little chance of that.

McIlroy was still fired up over what he perceived to be bad behavior by Patrick Cantlay's caddie the previous evening. He won his match to cap a 4-1 week and was Europe's top scorer. And then Fleetwood hit a signature shot on the signature hole, a drive to 25 feet on the reachable 16th. Rickie Fowler hit into the water and eventually conceded a short birdie to Fleetwood that assured Europe the 14½ points it needed to claim the 17-inch gold trophy. The celebration was on, just like it always is on European soil, with one exception. The first Ryder Cup in Italy brought its share of chaos as fans raced toward the edge of the 18th green to watch the final match that only decided a result for the record book: Europe 16½, US 11½.

Cantlay gave his team momentum in the face of fierce heckling for not wearing a hat and a Sky Sports report he called "outright lies" that he was not wearing a hat to protest not being paid to play. For two days, thousands of fans waved their caps at Cantlay, who never flinched. He birdied his last three holes Saturday evening in fourballs, and then McIlroy was furious with caddie Joe LaCava for continuing to celebrate as McIlroy still had a putt. McIlroy said he used it as fuel. "I didn't let it take away from what's been a fantastic week," he said. "I think what transpired on that last green gave us a fire in the belly to get the job done." But it was clear that hard feelings lingered when he was asked on TV if a meeting with LaCava allowed them to put it behind them. "I haven't met Joe," McIlroy said flatly.

(Read more Ryder Cup stories.)

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