US Ryder Cup star leaps to Rory McIlroy's defence after post-tournament show of frustration
"Say what you will but the dude is passionate."
Rory McIlroy's frustration boiled over on Sunday as he ripped his shirt in a fit of anger after the final round of the DP World Tour Championship.
The Northern Irish golfer looked to be on course to win his third European Tour victory of the season and was leading by two shots with just a few holes to play.
But Rory's luck deserted him on the 15th. He had a chance to record a birdie but his shot hit off the flagstick and landed in the bunker beside the green. McIlroy was unable to rescue par and saw his challenge slip away.
The 32-year-old then bogeyed the next hole and he ultimately finished on 74, five shots away from eventual winner Collin Morikawa.
A visibly frustrated McIlroy did not speak to reporters following his final round, and photographs soon surfaced on social media of the four-time major winner with a ripped shirt.
He's snapped a club over his knee, helicoptered another into a pond at Doral and now it seems Rory McIlroy has taken his loss in Dubai out on his shirt (photo @TourMiss). Say what you will but the dude is passionate. pic.twitter.com/NTJJrP32ec
— Rex Hoggard (@RexHoggardGC) November 21, 2021
United States golfer Justin Thomas, however, leapt to McIlroy's defence. Thomas said that McIlroy plays with "fire and passion" and he "never treats people with disrespect."
The US Ryder Cup star effectively said that his rival is entitled to let off steam after a disappointing round. Needless to say, Rory is not the first golfer to be irritated by the game.
I love this. @McIlroyRory works his ass off and expects highly of himself, and is frustrated when it doesn't go well. Never treats people with disrespect, never makes a fool of himself, just plays with fire and passion. Why he's as successful as he is and one of my favorites 🙌 https://t.co/wFkEbxnBZO
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) November 21, 2021
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) November 21, 2021