One of the often overlooked aspects of the controversy surrounding the PGA Tour and LIV Golf was the breakdown in personal relationships between some players.
While much has been made of the fractious dealings between the the two tours, it has also affected golfers on a more basic level. Many have remained cordial despite possessing different views on that matter, although some friendships have gone by the wayside as a result.
Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia are perhaps the best examples.
That pair had been incredibly close prior to Garcia's move to LIV Golf, with McIlroy even acting as a groomsman at his wedding in recent years.
However, after exchanging some frank words in private over the Spaniard's move to the Saudi-backed venture, they would then make a few testy comments in public. McIlroy made some comments about Garcia during an interview with the Irish Independent, with his former Ryder Cup teammate responding by saying the Northern Irishman 'lacked 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.
However, there had been signs that the pair had been mending their relationship in recent weeks.
After news of the partnership between the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf owning Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) broke, it was said Garcia reached out in an attempt to reignite their relationship. This led to an interesting exchange between the pair at the US Open.
It seems that things have now moved on even further.
Sergio Garcia mends fences with Rory McIlroy over LIV Golf move
After that gesture from Rory McIlroy at the US Open, it appears as though the pair have mended their relationship
Speaking ahead of the LIV Golf event in Spain this week, Sergio Garcia admitted that losing that friendship had been the most difficult part of the events over the last year or so. However, he said things are now back on track after some important conversations took place in recent weeks.
Our friendship! That was definitely the saddest part of all of these, some of those friendships and they kind of went a little sour.
At the end of the day, like I said, to me, the most important thing is that I, you know, I got my friend back. And, and that’s, that’s what matters the most...
Yeah, we talked, we talked a little bit about it among, among all of us, I guess, me with Angela (Garcia’s wife), I guess.
Obviously, Angela, and Erica (McIlroy's wife), they said ‘Hi’ to each other at the US Open, and there was a nice text from Rory to her, and that kind of gave me the incentive to reach out to him. I have been thinking about it for a while, but I wasn’t totally sure about it.
I think that at the end of the day, the important thing is that we got together and talked – we were two friends that wanted to get back to that spot. Like I said, no doubt it was the saddest part of all of this, these friendships turning sour.
It is clear that both players will now look to put this behind them and move forward in their friendship.
As for how the partnership between the PGA Tour and PIF plays out, it remains to be seen how much of an impact that will have at the top level of professional golf.