Sergio Garcia blames Rory McIlroy’s lack of maturity for severing their friendship

Sergio Garcia shuns Rory McIlroy for "lacking maturity" over Garcia's move to LIV Golf, ultimately severing their longtime friendship.

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Sergio Garcia was one of the first golfers to join LIV golf in 2022. And while the one-time major champ has said he doesn’t regret his decision, it did cost him some respect amongst his peers. Most notably, Rory McIlroy, who had been a longtime friend of the Spaniard.

Key word? Had.

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According to James Corrigan of The Telegraph, Garcia expressed both sadness and anger at how things shook out with McIlroy following the decision to join LIV, even going as far as saying McIlroy is “lacking maturity,” which ultimately severed their friendship.

“I think it is very sad,” Garcia told Corrigan. “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.”

Garcia continued: “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 a one-way street.”

When did Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy’s friendship end?

McIlroy has been strongly critical of LIV, and Garcia’s decision to join the upstart golf league in June of last year surely left a bad taste in his mouth. There were early signs that the two European golfers had drifted apart, but it wasn’t until months later that the spat became more public.

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In a recent interview, McIlroy dropped a hammer down, saying he had removed Garcia’s number from his phone after receiving a text that basically told him “to shut up about LIV, blah, blah, blah”. McIlroy added: “I was pretty offended and sent him back a couple of daggers and that was it.”

He then chose to double down on his stance in Dubai in early February, when he replied to a question about making up with Garcia with a simple “no”.

For what it’s worth, Garcia expressed interest in remaining friends, telling The Telegraph that McIlroy is “the one that has a problem.” He added, “if he wants to reconcile, then I’m willing to talk, but I’m not sure he’ll put himself down to that level.”

The history of Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy’s friendship

While it’s unknown what the future holds between the two, Garcia and McIlroy’s friendship had been strong for a decade or so. Not only did both play in the Ryder Cup as partners, but they would often hit the links together for practice rounds.

Following Garcia’s lone major title, the 2017 Masters, McIlroy expressed his joy, saying he “cried”, and that it was “unbelievable.”

Their relationship went deeper than just golf, though, with both attending the other’s wedding, and McIlroy even serving as a groomsman in Garcia’s 2017 nuptials. The joy over Garcia’s lone green jacket even continued at McIlroy’s wedding.

“The first time I saw him was when he got into our wedding on Friday night. I gave him the biggest bear hug, (and said), ‘This is unbelievable!'” McIlroy said. “Just to see what he’s been through, and his struggles, and for it to be there (at Augusta) … I mean, I’m getting goosebumps even talking about it. Sergio is a good friend of mine, he means a lot to me. It was a great story. I don’t think it could have really went any better than it did.”

Considering the latest war of words from both Garcia and McIlroy, however, it seems like a long shot that the two can find reconciliation or middle ground to rekindle any friendship.

Nick Dimengo Editor