Sergio Garcia’s Ryder Cup odds may have just gotten a bit longer.
Speaking to the Telegraph ahead of the LIV season opener at Mayakoba, Garcia blamed Rory McIlroy for abruptly ending their friendship last year, saying that the Northern Irishman “lacked maturity” by taking players’ PGA Tour-LIV decisions so personally.
“I think it is very sad,” Garcia told the Telegraph. “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, one-way street.”
McIlroy and Garcia partnered in the Ryder Cup and were close friends, with McIlroy serving as a groomsman in Garcia’s 2017 wedding.
But their relationship deteriorated last summer, with Garcia opting to bolt for LIV Golf. In an interview last year, McIlroy told the Irish Independent that Garcia sent him a text before the second round of the U.S. Open, “basically telling me to shut up about LIV, blah, blah, blah.”
“I was pretty offended,” McIlroy said, “and sent him back a couple of daggers and that was it.”
When asked last month in Dubai whether he felt compelled to repair his relationship with Garcia, given the possibility of the Spaniard making this year’s Ryder Cup team, McIlroy responded: “No.”
Garcia told the Telegraph he would be open to discussing the issues with McIlroy, but that the prospect seems unlikely: “Sure, I don’t have a problem with him. He’s the one that has a problem. 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.”
Their bad blood could become even more of a talking point later this year, especially if LIV players win an arbitration case that would allow them to continue playing on the DP World Tour. That would allow Garcia (the all-time Ryder Cup points leader) and the other LIV members to earn points toward automatic qualification for the Ryder Cup, or play well enough to attract the attention of European captain Luke Donald, who has six wildcard selections at his disposal.
“I wouldn’t want to harm the atmosphere in the team room,” the 43-year-old Garcia told the Telegraph. “I love that event too much for that.”