Did Joe LaCava cross the finish line in a thrilling incident on the 18th hole at the Ryder Cup?

Day 2 of the Ryder Cup was marked by a tense moment involving Patrick Cantlay’s caddy Joe LaCava, Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy.

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Check out each day of this week’s Ryder Cup to hear the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors breaking down the tournament’s hottest topic, and join the conversation by tweeting us @GOLF_com.

Tensions appeared to boil over during the final session of Day 2 of the Ryder Cup in Rome on Saturday. Although we’re still getting into the details, Rory McIlroy seems annoyed that Patrick Cantlay’s caddie, Joe LaCava, was slow to move out of McIlroy’s way after LaCava was still celebrating Cantlay’s made putt. LaCava also tagged along with Shane Lowry and video later surfaced of McIlroy yelling in the parking lot. So what’s there? Has LaCava crossed the line here?

Josh Berhow, Editor-in-Chief (@Josh_Berhow): I’m still trying to make sense of it all, but it looks like LaCava lingered a few seconds too long for McIlroy’s liking, and tensions were already high and McIlroy was facing a critical putt. LaCava’s barking from Lowry didn’t help either. But let’s be honest: How much more fun will Sunday be if you see that and Rory’s exit in the parking lot?

Dylan Dethier, senior writer (@dylan_dethier): Yes, he crossed the line the moment he didn’t just walk away, but instead turned around to bark again at who I thought was Harry Diamond, Rory McIlroy’s caddy (I’m not sure if it was Harry was, but that was my impression in real life). But honestly, my overriding feeling tonight is concern for LaCava; I can only imagine how he feels seeing it all in hindsight. Caddies should never be the center of attention, and this guy has spent a decade carrying Tiger Woods’ bag and staying as far away from the spotlight as possible. Now a few months with Patrick Cantlay – and The happens?

Jessica Marksbury, senior editor (@jess_marksbury): Situations like these are so rare in professional golf that one has to wonder if there is more to it than what we see on the surface. And the fact that Rory and LaCava are two of the most respected men in the game is even stranger! But as far as we can see, LaCava was wrong. As Dylan said, a caddy’s job is never to become the story, but rather to support his player. LaCava appeared to exceed Rory’s personal leeway as he prepared for the putt. But it’s not like LaCava interfered with Rory’s actual stroke. And did LaCava’s behavior deserve public criticism in the parking lot? And would we even be talking about it if Rory made the putt instead of missing it? Who knows. But we’re at the height of emotion this Ryder Cup, so it’s difficult to judge either man too harshly.

Alan Bastable, Editor-in-Chief (@alan_bastable): Most of all, I’m grateful to LaCava for making this amazing Ryder Cup more interesting. We desperately needed some spice, and LaCava—unfortunately, I’m sure, as Dethier points out—surprised us with several dashes of cayenne pepper seasoning. The moment speaks to the crushing intensity of this event. Everyone is nervous: players, captains, fans and of course the caddies. Here’s to an exciting Sunday!

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Ian Walker

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