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It appears as though Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia have settled their differences.

The former Ryder Cup teammates’ friendship appeared to be collateral damage in the civil war that split men’s professional golf down the middle over the past year.

Once extremely close – McIlroy was a groomsman at Garcia’s wedding in 2017 – the pair stopped talking following Garcia’s move to the LIV Golf League last year.

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Indeed, earlier this year, McIlroy was adamant there was no way back for their friendship, prompting Garcia to accuse the Irishman of “lacking maturity”.


However, following news of a proposed “commercial merger” and an end to litigation between the PGA Tour and the PIF that bankrolls LIV, it appears there has been a thawing of the animosity between the pair.

Speaking ahead of this week’s LIV Golf event at Valderrama, Garcia was asked for his thoughts on the merger talk and whether or not it’s a good thing for the game.

His answer was pretty revealing.

“I think it’s great,” said the former Masters champion. “In my personal opinion, I wish this would have happened a year and a half ago when we all started. It would have been better for all of us.

“To give you an example, it wasn’t because of the merger, but the US Open two weeks ago, it was a great event for me. I feel like I played well. But more than anything, because I gained a friend back, a friend that I kind of felt like I lost in the last year or so.

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“We talked and we had a great conversation and I feel like I had that friend back, and that to me means a lot. That’s a very positive thing.”

As reported by The Guardian, Garcia added that an exchange between his wife and McIlroy prompted him to extend an olive branch.

“Angela and Rory said ‘Hi’ to each other at the US Open and there was a nice text from Rory to her,” he added. “That kind of gave me the go-ahead to reach out to him.

“I had been thinking about it for a while but I wasn’t totally sure about it. And when I saw that reaction from him, it kind of gave me the go-ahead to get closer. We had a great chat. It was two friends that wanted to get back to that spot. That’s the most important thing.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael has also authored three books. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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