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24th Feb 2023

Sergio Garcia laments Rory McIlroy for “lacking maturity”

Rory Fleming

Garcia blames McIlroy for abandoning their friendship.

Rory McIlroy has been one of LIV Golf’s most ardent critics, having just last week drawn praise for his stance over the Saudi-backed breakaway competition from former world number one Tiger Woods.

However, speaking prior to this weekend’s maiden LIV Golf event of the season, Spaniard and former confidant of McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, gave a tell-all interview to the Telegraph regarding the breakdown of the pairs friendship.

Discussing his feelings around the animosity between the pair, the 2017 Masters winner said that “I think it’s very sad”. Garcia went on to add that “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”.

Sergio Garcia playing at a LIV Golf event in Miami.

For McIlroy though, the issue of swapping allegiances from one tour to another was not just a business decision, but a moral one too. Speaking off the back of his FedEx Cup win last August, the County Down native stated that “I hate what it (LIV Golf) is doing to the game of golf. I hate it, I really do. I feel strongly, I believe what I am saying are the right things and I think when you believe what you are saying are the right things, you are happy to stick your neck out on the line”.

The world number one not only took umbrage with the LIV Golf organisers, but with players such as Garcia, who in McIlroy’s eyes had committed their futures to the PGA Tour. “You had people committed to the PGA Tour, and that’s what the statements were that were put out. People went back on that”, said the four-time major winner.

Garcia and McIlroy were Ryder Cup teammates on five separate occasions and had played across countless PGA Tour events and other tournaments together over the last decade. Ultimately though, the pair could not reconcile their differences regarding the LIV Golf series.

McIlroy and Woods embrace at last week’s Genesis Invitational.

“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 it’s a one-way street”, 43-year-old Garcia stated.

McIlroy also revealed back in December that the pair had shared an explosive text exchange regarding the Northern Irishman’s explicit stance on the breakaway tour. “He was basically telling me to shut up about LIV… I was pretty offended and sent him back a couple of daggers and that was it”, McIlroy told Paul Kimmage of the Irish Independent.

The three-time PGA Tour Player of the Year is not the first golfer to receive some pointed comments from Garcia, with the Spaniard last December critiquing Woods’ stance that LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman should step down from his position. “It’s very easy to say those on the other side have to go. And those on your side? There are also people who have done things wrong”, said Garcia.

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