Marriages foster great relationships, and in case of Padraig Harrington, can also help heal the not-so-great ones.
The Irish golfer was in attendance of Rory McIlroy’s wedding to Erica Stoll in Ireland recently and took the chance to connect with Sergio Garcia, the Spanish golfer who hasn’t been on Harrington’s good side for quite some time now.
But, Harrington insists that it’s all water under the bridge after the two held clear-the-air talks and have decided that bitterness is a thing of the past.
Ahead of both men preparing for Birkdale, Harrington has claimed that their fractious past no longer has any bearing on their future relationship and that he was looking forward to a much better relationship with Sergio going forwards.
Quite the contrast to what both men have had to say about each other in the past.
The rivalry started around 2007, the year in which Harrington defeated Sergio García in a four-hole playoff at Carnoustie Golf Links, becoming the first Irishman to win The Open Championship in 60 years, and the first ever from the Republic of Ireland.
Both players went into the playoff having shot a 7-under 277 for the Championship. Harrington subsequently won by one stroke in the playoff.
In the aftermath of the event, the players’ relationship deteriorated.
Speaking to The Guardian in 2008, Harrington was quoted as saying: “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.”
The feud gained limelight earlier this year when Harrington claimed three months ago the Spaniard had been a “sore loser” when he was winning Majors and Garcia was not.
But, both players found a way to address the elephant in the room at McIlroy’s wedding.
“We have decided that we will look going forward at our similarities and the good in each of us rather than any other way," Harrington told the Irish Golf desk.
"We are in a great place. If anything, it has worked out for the better. It's a situation that had to be dealt with and it was dealt with. Myself and Sergio are on a much better footing than we have ever been."
When asked about why there was such friction between the two, Harrington said: “I probably had a chip on my shoulder back then at how talented Sergio seemed and Sergio probably had the same with me — I’d got my Major, why hadn’t he?"
Harrington insists he would be pleased for Garcia if he won his first Claret Jug at Birkdale. Garcia has finished in the top six for the past three years.
“I would be happy. He has certainly paid his dues at this stage,” said Harrington.
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