Rory Mcllroy has been labelled a “scapegoat” after being dropped from a Ryder Cup session for the first time in his career. Mcllroy, 32, is not involved in the Saturday morning foursomes session after enduring a nightmare first day which saw him lose both his matches.
The Northern Irishman, who was beaten 5&3 in his Friday foursomes match with Ian Poulter and 4&3 with Shane Lowry, cut a frustrated figure throughout as Team USA built up a commanding 6-2 lead.
It ends a remarkable run for McIlroy, so often perceived as Team Europe’s talisman, having previously played in 26 straight matches since making his debut in 2010.
Despite his first day form, his omission comes as somewhat of a surprise, and GB News Sport Editor Mike Bovill suggested he was being singled out for a poor all-round European display.
“Team Europe got absolutely spanked yesterday,” he said on GB News.
JUST IN: Ryder Cup LIVE: USA 6-2 Europe – Saturday scores as McIlroy snubbed as ‘scapegoat
Team Europe captain Harrington however, was still full of praise for Mcllroy despite standing by his decision to leave him out.
Harrington, 50, said he “could not have asked more” from the star, who has 13 Ryder Cup points to his name from his five previous tournament appearances.
“The golf didn’t go as well as he would have liked, but I’m not second-guessing him for a second in terms of his leadership and what he does for my team,” Harrington added.
Mcllroy and Poulter never truly recovered from a disastrous start against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, going five down through five holes and although they later cut the deficit to three down, a fightback never looked likely.