WATCH: Padraig Harrington's refusal to be thrilled for Sergio Garcia is just another reason to love him 2 years ago

WATCH: Padraig Harrington's refusal to be thrilled for Sergio Garcia is just another reason to love him

Padraig did not pick Sergio Garcia with his heart.

The pair have a long history.

Even on Sunday morning, with the Spaniard teeing off in the last group alongside Justin Rose, the Dubliner could not pretend to be rooting for his former Major rival.

A spat that began over a rules row with Jose Maria Olazabal had its flames fanned by some epic tussles in 2007 and 2008. Harrington has previously admitted the two will never be bosom buddies.

"We have zero in common, bar the fact that we both play golf. He is the antithesis of me, and I am the antithesis of him," said the normally affable Harrington.

So what a quirk of fate to find himself in the Sky Sports commentary box on Sunday night as Garcia ended his long wait for a Major with a dramatic play-off victory over Rose.

"I love to see the emotion in that," he said of Garcia's fiancee's reaction. "She knows what it means to him."

Harrington may not be a big fan of Garcia, but he will recognise the lengths his rival has gone to to win a first Major at the 74th attempt. At 37, Garcia is just two years older than Harrington was when he made his breakthrough (at Garcia's expense) at the 2007 Open in Carnoustie.

But the 45-year-old stopped short of pretending to be delighted for Garcia and viewers picked up on a definite tone.

Harrington, however, is not obligated to be disingenuously happy for someone he does not get along with. It seems he maintained his professionalism when discussing Garcia's victory and that was all that was required.

When everyone in professional sport is now so scared to betray their real emotions, admit to what they are really thinking and dare to have a cut off a peer or opponent, aren't we lucky in Ireland to lay claim to such a unique character?

Harrington is loved for his fascinating, thoughtful take on life. A happy, quirky sort of a fellow who likes to chat to you about his cholesterol and has a cryotherapy chamber in his garage.

Usually smiling, often laughing, yet, when paid to go on TV and talk about golf he cuts out the bullshit and gives an honest opinion.

Yet another reason to cherish the three-time Major winner.