LIV Golf has done more than just disrupt the status quo of golf – it also seems to have created a wedge between old friends.
Twenty-three-time PGA Tour winner Rory McIlroy was blunt at a press conference during the Hero Dubai Desert Classic last month when asked if he felt the need to repair his relationship with former Ryder Cup teammate Sergio Garcia amid the possibility that the Spaniard could still make the team in 2023.
“No,” he responded sharply.
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McIlroy has not shied away from making public remarks about PGA Tour defectors, saying in October that “it is the first time in my life that I have felt betrayal.”
The feeling is mutual with Garcia saying this week that the blame for his fractured relationship with McIlroy falls on him.
“I think it is very sad,” Garcia told The Telegraph Thursday. “I think that we’ve done so many things together and had so many experiences that for him to throw that away just because I decided to go to a different tour, well, it doesn’t seem very mature; lacking maturity, really.”
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“Rory’s got his own life, and he makes his own choices, the same way that I make mine. I respect his choice, but it seems like he doesn’t respect the ones I make. So a one-way street,” he continued.
Garcia and McIlroy have been longtime friends both on and off the course, with McIlroy even being a groomsman in his wedding in 2017. Garcia told the outlet that while he is not opposed to a reconciliation, he doubts McIlroy is interested in one.
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“Sure, I don’t have a problem with him. He’s the one that has a problem,” he said. “So if he wants to reconcile, then I’m willing to talk, but I’m not sure he’ll put himself down to that level.”
Garcia is the all-time Ryder Cup points leader meaning his absence from this year’s tournament could spell trouble for Team Europe, regardless of anyone’s feelings about his current tour.
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