Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz break down Rory McIlroy-Joe LaCava Ryder Cup exchange

On this week’s episode of Subpar, hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz talked through a full breakdown of the 2023 Ryder Cup, which Europe won by a lopsided margin, 16.5-11.5.

Both Knost and Stoltz were in attendance at Marco Simone in Rome, giving them a front-row seat to all the action. In the aftermath of the whirlwind week, Knost and Stoltz sat down to discuss all the drama that transpired, especially Rory McIlroy and Joe LaCava’s tense exchange on the 18th green on Saturday evening.

In case you forgot the finer points of what happened, here’s a quick recap: Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick’s four-ball match against Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark went to the 18th hole on Saturday evening. Fitzpatrick and McIlroy were on the green with mid-length birdie looks. But when Cantlay made his incredible 43-foot putt for birdie, Cantlay’s caddie, Joe LaCava, celebrated a bit too long in McIlroy’s line of sight, irking not only the four-time major winner but also other members of Team Europe who were surrounding the 18th green — especially Shane Lowry, who let LaCava know it. Words were exchanged, and McIlroy and Fitzpatrick ultimately missed their birdie putts, losing the hole and the match, and giving the U.S. a much-needed full point.

Team Europe's Rory McIlroy celebrates after Europe regained the Ryder Cup following victory over the USA on day three of the 44th Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Rome, Italy
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McIlroy was still upset long after the incident, as camera captured him yelling at U.S. caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay in the parking lot.

After watching the 18th-green incident from multiple angles, Stoltz offered his assessment of the situation.

“That’s a moment Joe LaCava probably wants back,” Stoltz said. “You can’t find a person that doesn’t rave about Joe LaCava, think he’s the classiest in the world. You look at the guys he’s caddied for: DJ [Dustin Johnson], Freddie [Fred Couples], a little guy named Tiger [Tiger Woods]. He’s been in the biggest scenarios with the most pressure. There’s nothing he hasn’t seen on a golf course. I think that day, the fans out there were just so relentless on Cantlay, that he’d had enough.

“He got carried away.”

Knost concurred, but said it’s hard to know how much blame to pin on each person.

“There’s only two people that know exactly what was said on that 18th green,” Knost said.

For more from Knost and Stoltz on McIlroy, watch the video above. And for even more Ryder Cup insights and analysis from Subpar’s duo, check out the full episode below. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on