Rory McIlroy’s social networking spat with European golf commentator Jay Townsend caused a palpable rift in the golf world. After Townsend’s snarky tweet about McIlroy’s questionable course management, and ultimately the effectiveness of his caddie JP Fitzgerald, McIlroy quickly took the defensive.
After posting a 68 Friday, good to make the cut at the Irish Open, Mcilroy told reporters,
“It was one comment too far, I’ve got to stand up for my caddie. J.P. is one of my closest friends. I’ve had to deal with it for three years and not really say anything. He’s just kept at him and at him. I just had to say something. I don’t care if he criticizes me, I can take the criticism. J.P. can’t stand up for himself…”
So was Rory out of line with his comment? Or did he have every right to lash out at Townsend? Regardless, Townsend appears to have brushed the issue under the rug for now, refusing to let the issue get any more out of hand.
McIlroy, however, was intent on conveying his confidence in his caddie, especially considering the context of his dominating, eight-shot victory at the US Open a little over a month ago.
“J.P. has taken me from 200th in the world to major champion and fourth in the world.”
Not since Tiger Woods’s 15-shot rout at the US Open in 2000 has a player torn through the competition in a major-championship setting, like McIlroy at Congressional this past June.
McIlroy has become one of professional golf’s most consistent and threatening players over the last few years, but even he would tell you, he hasn’t done it alone.
(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)