It’s a platitude in the world of professional golf: European players have greater camaraderie. And the general chumminess is a boon to the Euros every two years in the Ryder Cup.
It’s not surprising then, that instead of rueing his own inability to capture the career grand slam at Augusta National last month, Rory McIlroy was crying tears of joy for his friend Sergio Garcia.
Rory McIlroy repeatedly beat a hasty retreat from the hallowed grounds of the Masters venue to make it back to his rental house in time to watch the conclusion to the tournament. He spoke with reporters ahead of his return to action at The Players Championship.
“I cried. I cried. It was unbelievable. I mean, Justin is a great friend of mine, but I hadn’t seen Sergio since … the first time I saw him was when he got into our wedding on Friday night, I gave him the biggest bear hug, (and said), ‘This is unbelievable.’”
The four-time major champion said he went full golf fan, screaming at the television as he watched Rose and Garcia battle down the stretch, cursing at the set as Sergio Garcia’s potential tournament-winning putt slid past the hole.
The Ulsterman will serve as one of Garcia’s groomsmen at his August wedding to Angela Akins, and there’s no doubt his excitement for his pal was intense.
“Just to see what he’s been through, and his struggles, and for it to be there (at Augusta) … I mean, I’m getting goosebumps even talking about it. Sergio is a good friend of mine, he means a lot to me. It was a great story. I don’t think it could have really went any better than it did.”
And now that we’ve finally heard from Rory McIlroy on Sergio Garcia’s Masters win, on to another pressing Rory-related question. Why exactly he chose Stevie Wonder to perform at his wedding? A curious decision, as Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Ed Sheeran were reportedly in attendance…and much more, well, what you’d expect a 28-year-old to listen to.
McIlroy told reporters what he and then-fiance Erica Stoll were thinking:
“Well, we thought, we have people at the wedding who are 80 and people who are 20. So we wanted something that everyone knew. We were like, ‘Stevie Wonder? Perfect.’ That was cool. Really cool.”
So there you have it. Rory McIlroy happily got down to “Superstition” and “Higher Ground” and wept for Sergio Garcia’s Masters triumph. A man of depth and soul, indeed!