By Fatiha Betscher, Valderrama
Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy have apparently kissed and made-up with Garcia revealing they have ended their bitter war of words and are again friends with thanks, in part, to their respective wives.
Of course, it was Garcia’s decision to join LIV Golf that was at the heart of a collapse of their long-time friendship, but it then became personal as evident earlier this year in text messages being exchanged between the Spaniard and the Northern Irishman.
Since the emergence of LIV, McIlroy has been akin to the ‘unofficial’ mouthpiece of the PGA Tour in sounding his strong opposition, and claiming that he felt betrayed by his former Ryder Cup teammates who had jeopardised their chances of competing in the biennial showdown with the USA.
Garcia and McIlroy go back a long way, long before they were playing together on the same European Ryder Cup team, and that relationship only grew with both pulling on the European team colours.
Indeed their friendship was so strong that McIlroy acted as a groomsman at Garcia’s wedding to Angela Akins while the Garcias had been a guest at McIlroy’s wedding.
However, the four-time major winning McIlroy also recently revealed an explosive text message exchange with Garcia, who he said was “basically telling me to shut up about LIV, blah, blah, blah.” He said he was “offended” by Garcia’s words and replied with “a couple of daggers.”
Garcia, at the time, responded: “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. So it’s a one-way street.”
However, a year on and the men’s pro golf landscape has changed dramatically and the Garcia/McIlroy wars of words is now seemingly water under the bridge and the pair have made-up, as Garcia proudly revealed ahead of this week’s inaugural LIV Golf Valderrama here in Spain
Garcia said: “I think that at the end of the day, the important thing is that Rory and I, we got together, we talked, we had a great, great conversation with two, two friends that wanted to get back to that spot. And that’s the most important thing.”
Garcia was asked what was the ‘saddest’ aspect of the breakdown in the relationship.
He said: “Our friendship! That was definitely the saddest part of all of these, some of those friendships and they kind of went a little sour.
“At the end of the day, like I said, to me, the most important thing is that I, you know, I got my friend back. And, and that’s, that’s what matters the most”.
Garcia was asked also what input was there from his wife, Angela and McIlroy’s wife, Erica for their husbands to swallow their pride and get back on talking terms and saying: “Yeah, we talked, we talked a little bit about it among, among all of us, I guess, me with Angela, I guess.
“Obviously, Angela, and Erica, they said ‘Hi’ to each other at the US Open, and there was a nice text from Rory to her, and that kind of gave me the incentive to reach out to him. I have been thinking about it for a while, but I wasn’t totally sure about it.
“I think that at the end of the day, the important thing is that we got together and talked – we were two friends that wanted to get back to that spot. Like I said, no doubt it was the saddest part of all of this, these friendships turning sour.”
So, what will be the locker room scenario should both Garcia and McIlroy be in the same 2025 European Ryder Cup side, given Garcia has been ruled out of selection later this year in Rome?
“Well, we’ll see as that’s a long way away,” said Garcia. “And this doesn’t mean anything when it comes down to that. But at the end of the day, like I said, to me, the most important thing is that I, you know, I got my friend back. And, and that’s, that’s what matters the most”.