Jul
28
2011
Rory Riled by Townsend Tweet
By Stephanie Wei under Twitter

Handbags thrown via Twitter!

After Rory McIlroy dropped three shots in the last eight holes to shoot 70 at the Irish Open on Thursday, American ex-pro-turned-commentator Jay Townsend knocked Rory via Twitter for his course management, calling it “shocking.”

In a second tweet, Townsend went after McIlroy’s caddie, JP Fitzgerald, suggesting that Rory hire Steve Williams, who was recently axed by longtime boss Tiger Woods.

The usually mild-mannered McIlroy snapped back harshly:

Now that had to have been more shocking than McIlroy’s alleged poor course management (I didn’t watch, so I can’t offer an educated opinion).

Here’s a screenshot of Townsend’s tweets (start reading from the bottom):

In a follow-up tweet, Rory’s reply indicated he was sticking up for his caddie, who was a target for criticism after Rory’s Masters Sunday flop:

Towsend was one of the many that implied Fitzgerald could have done more to prevent McIlroy’s Masters meltdown. And the commentator’s strong words on Thursday put Rory over the edge.

“He’s been having a go at JP every now and again and this was the first time I’ve responded,” McIlroy told the Telegraph‘s Kevin Garside. “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Now I’ve blocked him on Twitter so I won’t be reading anything more.”

First of all, Rory probably should have taken the high road — he’s a bigger and better person than some of his contemporaries than to resort to petty responses.

Besides the handbag throwing, there’s another point of debate stemming from the incident — how much blame/credit do caddies deserve? Probably anywhere from 5-10%, the percentage of earnings they receive each week (that is, assuming their player makes the cut). A great looper with veteran experience can likely help a player score better compared with an amateur one, but that doesn’t mean the golfer always listens to the advice.

At the end of the day, who’s swinging the club?

(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)