Rory McIlroy has seen plenty of his friendships in the world of golf impacted by his stand against the breakaway LIV Golf series.
Many of McIlroy's toughest opponents on the PGA Tour have defected to the Saudi-backed LIV series, and the Northern Irishman's ardent opposition to the new league has seen him at loggerheads with many of them.
His recent clash with Patrick Reed was well-publicised, while the recent release of Full Swing on Netflix revealed his behind-the-scenes jokes about some others who had signed on with LIV, such as Phil Mickelson.
Now, his former Ryder Cup teammate Sergio Garcia has slammed Rory McIlroy for his "immaturity" regarding the PGA-LIV feud, and questioned his supposed lack of respect for those who had defected to golf's newest and most controversial series.
Rory McIlroy: Sergio Garcia slams Northern Irishman over LIV fallout
Sergio Garcia has played alongside Rory McIlroy multiple times in the past.
The pair shared the course as part of Team Europe in five consecutive Ryder Cups between 2012 and 2021. McIlroy and Garcia teamed up three times as a pair during the 2014 edition, as Europe won in Gleneagles, and it was a partnership that was rekindled in 2018 in France.
Now, however, the two find themselves completely at odds, due to McIlroy's opposition to the LIV Golf series, which Sergio Garcia signed up to during 2022.
Ahead of the inaugural LIV event of 2023 in Mexico this weekend, Garcia spoke to the Telegraph about his former teammate, saying that McIlroy's vocal criticism of the new series was "sad" and that McIlroy's decision to "throw away" their friendship showed a lack of maturity:
I think it is very sad. 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.
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.
There is no doubt that McIlroy has been aggressive in his criticism of LIV Golf, but Sergio Garcia is certainly one to talk when it comes to talking of "immaturity".
Garcia has been involved in many a spat on the golf course over the years. He infamouly held a bitter rivalry with Irishman Padraig Harrington, before the pair reconciled after a gripping head-to-head battle. After his first tournamnet for LIV Golf, Garcia was widely condemned for his behaviour at the BMW PGA Championship, where he departed midway through round two and spent the weekend travelling around the US instead.
He was also infamously caught spitting in the cup after a disappointing putt back in 2007.
We imagine Rory McIlroy will probably take this one on the chin.
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