Rónán MacNamara in Rome
Rory McIlroy cried tears of joy this time after he top scored for Europe with four points to help Luke Donald’s charges reclaim the Ryder Cup in Marco Simone Golf Club.
McIlroy was inspirational for Europe and capped off one of the great weeks of his career with a convincing 3&1 win over Sam Burns in the Sunday singles for his best Ryder Cup return (4-1-0).
The Holywood man was inconsolable after playing his part in a humiliating record breaking defeat for Europe in Whistling Straits two years ago but this time he was crying for all the right reasons after a week of redemption as he resurrected his Ryder Cup career from the ruins.
“It means an awful lot. I was so disappointed after Whistling Straits. We all were. And we wanted to come here to Rome this year and redeem ourselves a bit.” explained McIlroy whose win put Europe within a point and a half of the cup at the time.
“We’ve got some fresh blood on the team that I think has worked really, really well. I just knew that I needed to put in a better performance for my teammates this week, and you know, thankfully I was able to do that.”
The seven-time Ryder Cup player was the centre of attention last night after being involved with a bust up on the 18th green with Patrick Cantlay’s caddie Joe LaCava spilled over into the car park.
Cantlay and Wyndham Clark had birdied the last to beat him and Matt Fitzpatrick and give the USA a flicker of hope heading into Sunday. It was a deflating finish for the hosts but the controversial aftermath proved the perfect tonic.
“I was focused. I was very focused. I let it fuel me. I didn’t let it take way from what’s been a fantastic week. I used that little incident last night to my advantage.
“It was a bit of a deflating finish last night, but I think what transpired in that last green, it all gave us a little bit of a fire in our bellies to try and get the job done today.”
McIlroy heaped praise on his captain Luke Donald who got things tactically spot on all week.
“Quiet confidence is what Luke has been this week. Doesn’t have to say many words. The words that he does say are very, very impactful and he’s been amazing this week.”
Contrary to reports earlier on Sunday, McIlroy denied meeting LaCava for clear the air talks on Saturday night.
“I haven’t met Joe,” he confirmed.