The European team lost the Ryder Cup this year, but at least one good thing came of the week in Kentucky: a thawing in the relationship between the continent's top two stars, Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia. The relationship between the pair had been frosty since the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie, when Harrington defeated the Spaniard in a playoff. Garcia's subsequent press conference set a new standard for petulant whining, as he bemoaned his bad luck and suggested he was battling greater opponents than just the field. Things didn't get any warmer this summer when Garcia stumbled down the stretch at Oakland Hills, allowing the Dubliner to claim his third major title at the PGA Championship.
It is worth noting here that the cause of Sergio's anger toward Harrington wasn't due to a sucker punch or a slur against his momma. It was simply because he lost, fair and square. And he didn't much like that.
But Harrington has told the Irish Independent that the two healed their rift in Kentucky at the urging of fellow team members.
"It certainly has been difficult between me and Sergio. Things definitely got a little bit tense there, but the Ryder Cup really helped," Harrington said. "We spent the week in each other's company, played a couple of practice matches together and he got to say his piece, things he wanted to say all along."
So what exactly did Sergio want to say? Perhaps 'Well done!' or 'Congratulations, Paddy!' or perhaps even 'Sorry I acted like a jerk.'
"Some of the lads eventually drew it out of him and he got to tell me that he really wanted to smash that putter over my head," the Irishman revealed. "That was what I really wanted to hear and, though the Ryder Cup didn't do much for Europe, it did do a lot for me and Sergio."
(Photo: John Biever/SI)