Team Europe, fueled by a hat controversy, wins 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome

Team Europe, fueled by the hat controversy, won the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome

 

 

Team USA attempted to resolve a hat controversy sparked by a parking lot feud, but the spark proved too little, too late. Team Europe continued its four-way sweep Friday morning at the Ryder Cup that opens in Rome through Sunday, extending a decades-long tradition of home wins.

 

Viktor Hovland, one of two players to have played in all five of Team Europe’s matches, scored the first point for captain Luke Donald’s team at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. Europe reached 14 1/2 points to regain the cup after Tommy Fleetwood hit the green on the driveable par-4 16th and Rickie Fowler hit it into the water. Fleetwood’s birdie putt gave Europe the half-point it needed to win. The last time the United States won a Ryder Cup abroad was in 1993.

 

A report Saturday from SkySports Jamie Weir insinuated that Patrick Cantlay’s refusal to wear a team cap centered on his desire to get paid Ryder Cup players. European fans responded by waving their hats at American players throughout the weekend. The whole scene culminated Saturday night when Cantlay’s caddy, Joe LaCava, waved his hat after Cantlay made the match-winning putt to give the U.S. team some life before singles play.

 

Rory McIlroy was unhappy with LaCava’s antics getting in his way on the green. His frustration flared in the parking lot when he had to restrain himself while talking to cadet Jim “Bones” Mackay.

 

After defeat two years ago at Whistling Straits left McIlroy in tears, he earned four points in Rome. McIlroy told NBC after winning the singles match that he used the incident in the parking lot and green 18 on Saturday night to his advantage.

 

 

 

“Last night was a little bit of a letdown, but I think what happened on the last green gave us a little fire in our bellies to go out and do it today,” McIlroy said.

 

Cantlay, who improved his team’s singles record to 4-0-0 after a 2-to-1 win over Justin Rose, told NBC after the singles match that the team’s Ryder Cup and money reports were in the team room. America is completely wrong. .

 

“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Cantlay said. “Not a single word this week. Team USA has been playing closely all week.

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