As is the case with many friendships in professional golf these days, some close relationships have been fractured because of the upstart LIV Golf league, which begins its second season Friday at Mayakoba in Mexico.
Sergio Garcia is one of those golfers who left for LIV. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy has been one of the most staunch supporters of the PGA Tour, speaking out against those who left for the Greg Norman-led league. Even if it’s speaking out against someone like Garcia, who had McIlroy as a groomsman in his wedding.
The duo have paired in numerous Ryder Cups and had a close friendship, as McIlroy was in Garcia’s wedding in 2017. However, Garcia detailed in an interview ahead of LIV Mayakoba how much things have changed.
“I think it is very sad,” Garcia told Telegraph Sport. “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. But Rory’s got his own life, and he makes his own choices, the same way that I make mine. I respect his choices, but it seems like he doesn’t respect the ones I make.”
The pair’s relationship has been crumbling since last year, when Garcia made his decision to leave the Tour for LIV Golf. Garcia informed McIlroy of his choice to go to LIV at the Wells Fargo Championship last May. The Friday of the U.S. Open, Garcia texted McIlroy, “basically telling me to shut up about LIV, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
“I was pretty offended and sent him back a couple of daggers and that was it,” McIlroy said.
At the Dubai Desert Classic in January, McIlroy said “no” when asked whether he would shake hands with Garcia if the European Ryder Cup captain picked the Spaniard to be on the team at Marco Simone in Rome come September.
The next time McIlroy and Garcia will be in the same field will be at the Masters, which is scheduled for April 6-9.