Sergio Garcia finally claimed a major title at the weekend after a tense finish to the 2017 Masters.
The Spaniard has come close to claiming one of golf’s biggest prizes on several occasions, but was unable to get over the line until Sunday’s play-off at Augusta.
Some notable occasions that the Spaniard missed out on a major featured Harrington beating him by a narrow margin and it has been little secret that the two haven’t always seen eye-to-eye.
Speaking to RTÉ‘s Game On 2, the three-time major winner gave his honest opinion of Garcia, finally explaining in detail why there relationship is particularly frosty.
“Myself and Sergio have been on tour pretty much as long as each other. We would have been opposites.
“His is a very flamboyant game, everything comes easy. There were periods when he never practiced.
“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 their golf clubs. That would be my attitude. That would be quite clear from where I came from.
“Then we would have went into the majors, and obviously I beat him. 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.”
While they may have had their differences, Harrington and Garcia teamed up on several occasions to lead Europe to Ryder Cup glory and, speaking of his victory on Sunday, the Irishman did state that he was genuinely happy for Garcia despite their differences.
I was delighted to see the emotion on the 18th green. Maybe I am a bit harsh with the fact that I look and say, well, everything comes easy to Sergio. But clearly it hasn’t come easy to him. You could see in that moment in time that he has probably paid his dues. I might have had a chip on my shoulder about that.
I suppose he was a bigger star than he was performer at one stage. He has definitely paid his dues now. I could see it in his emotion. His future wife, I met her at the Ryder Cup, she is a lovely girl. I feel for them. Everyone likes the parents. The genuine emotion and the thrill of winning, I could see that as a competitor and I could appreciate that. I was very happy for him, no doubt about it, in that moment.