Among the subplots - in Ireland at least - to Sergio Garcia's conquering both Augusta National and his own demons earlier this month was the bubbling to the surface of his poor relationship with Padraig Harrington.
Harrington was on punditry duty for Sky Sports, and his honesty got the better of him ahead of the final round, and when asked on Sky to shovel more emotional weight behind Sergio, he demurred.
Sky host: Your heart would pick Sergio, wouldn't it?
Harrington: Well, maybe not mine.
Garcia did eventually win, and Harrington was happy to praise his golf throughout the tournament and congratulate him on his victory. Later that week on 2FM's Game On, Harrington was asked to further explain the bad blood between he and the new Masters champion. As ever, Harrington was happy to answer:
It's very simple. Myself and Sergio have been on tour as long as each other. We would have been the opposite. His is a very flamboyant game, everything comes easy. There were periods he never practised. We were such opposites. I worked at it, grinded it out. Got the best out of it.
I’m very strong on the etiquette of the game, so I don’t tolerate people spitting in the hole, throwing their shoes or throwing golf clubs. That would be my attitude. And it would be quite clear where I came from.
Then we went into the majors and obviously I beat him at the majors. I gave him every out I possibly could. I gave him every out I possibly could have at the 2007 Open.
I was as polite as I could and was as generous as I could be, but he was a very sore loser. And he continued to be a very sore loser.
So clearly, after that, we have had a very sticky wicket. The Ryder Cup improved it no end. We say hello to each other every day and it is through gritted teeth, there is no doubt about it. I know he is watching what I am doing and I am watching what he is doing. It is one of those things. He's a rival.
But happily, the feud is now OVER. Both were invited to Mayo over the weekend to attend Rory McIlroy's wedding to Erica Stroll, and happily, they used the occasion to make up.
Harrington was speaking at a R&A event in Dun Laoighre on Monday, and he was asked about his relationship with Sergio Garcia. Details of the detente was chronicled by Philip Reid of The Irish Times:
We’ve had a chat, because clearly there was a bit of an elephant in the room with what I said 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 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.
Beautiful. And also, some detail to emerge from McIlroy's wedding, the lack of which has angered a Herald columist today.
See Also: The Spectacular Guest List At Rory McIlroy's Wedding Included Padraig Harrington And Sergio Garcia