I planned animated celebration before victory, says McIlroy

Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:41pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy was so excited to win his afternoon fourballs match at the Ryder Cup on Friday that he planned his animated celebration before the point was won and also had to apologise to a member of the opposition.

McIlroy clinched a 3 and 2 triumph alongside Belgian rookie Thomas Pieters against Americans Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar by holing a 20-foot eagle putt and then nodded mockingly to the crowd before letting out a thunderous bellow.

"I bowed to them and said, 'You're welcome for the show', the Northern Irishman told reporters. "You get the minority of people that are cheering against the other team.

"Most are respectful and are cheering really hard for the U.S. team. That's totally acceptable and exactly what happens in Europe but still it's a hostile environment.

"I actually thought about the celebration before I hit the putt, I knew it had a good chance of going in. I just want everyone watching out there to know how much this means to us."

McIlroy was so thrilled that he completely forgot to shake the hand of Johnson's caddie, brother Austin, after victory was sealed.

Asked if there was anything intentional about the snub, the world number three replied: "No, not at all. I did not know that.

"I get on really well with AJ and all the Johnson family so I'll have to go and apologise to him, I sort of got caught up in the moment. I would class AJ as a good buddy of mine on tour, along with DJ."   Continued...

Sep 30, 2016; Chaska, MN, USA;  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates winning his match on the 16th green in the afternoon four-ball matches during the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports