Pádraig Harrington/Garcia kiss and make up at McIlroy wedding

Irishman and Spaniard both attended the wedding last Saturday at Ashford Castle

It seems there was a lot of love in the air at the wedding of golfing superstar Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll, and not just from the happy couple . . . . as three-time Major champion Pádraig Harrington and US Masters champion Sergio Garcia, both guests of the happy couple, used their meeting at Ashford Castle to kiss and make up.

“Right now, at this moment, I would say my relationship with Sergio is the best it’s ever been,” insisted Harrington, speaking at an R&A function at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club on Monday.

The Irishman and the Spaniard have not always sung off the same hymn sheet. After Garcia’s breakthrough Majors win in the Masters earlier this month, Harrington had accused the new champion of being a “sore loser” in recalling their own duels in the 2007 British Open and the 2008 US PGA when the Dubliner had emerged victorious on each occasion.

Rather than any awkward encounter when attending the high-profile wedding last Saturday, the two millionaire golfers acted like mature adults. “We’ve had a chat,” revealed Harrington, “because clearly there was a bit of an elephant in the room with what I said (on 2FM’s “Game On” programme) and we have decided that we look at our similarities and the good in each of us rather than any other way.


“So, we are in a great place. If anything it’s worked out so much for the better. Literally, the first person I met (at the wedding) was Sergio. It was something that needed to be done straight away and Sergio made it very easy . . . . he’d done his homework on everything that had been said. (But) the crux of the radio interview was that Sergio had turned the corner and shown how much he deserved to win the Masters, and at that moment in time he had paid his dues.”

Harrington is a potential European captain for the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits resort in Wisconsin in the United States in 2020, where Garcia would most likely be a player. Now, Harrington doesn’t foresee any potential issues. “You don’t bring personal into something as important as that but, on the other side of it, I believe if I was captain I’d have Sergio’s support, 100 percent.”

Philip Reid

Philip Reid

Philip Reid is Golf Correspondent of The Irish Times