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QUICK TAKE: Beware The Happy Golfer

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia walk together during a Masters practice round. (Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson, Reuters)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA | Golf is a four-letter word and so is love and there is a lot of love talk in golf at the moment. Some of Sergio Garcia’s newfound happiness, which contributed to his success in winning The Masters at Augusta last month, is due to his recent engagement and forthcoming marriage. Life, he has said, could hardly be better.

Nor could it for Rory McIlroy, still wearing the sheen of the newly married person he became after three days of ceremony and celebration in Ireland recently. These days, McIlroy waves his left hand a lot, flashing the new ring on his fourth finger with pride. As a wedding present he has just signed a reported $10-million-a-year contract with TaylorMade.

“There’s not really many question marks going on in my life right now,” McIlroy said Tuesday at TPC Sawgrass, site of this week’s Players Championship. “I feel like everything’s exactly where it’s meant to be and if you feel like that off the golf course then I can only imagine that it will help you on it.”

McIlroy and Garcia are good friends and for McIlroy, Garcia’s win in The Masters brought almost as much happiness as if he had won the green jacket himself. The moment McIlroy finished his last round, he raced to his rented house to watch the closing holes of the struggle between Justin Rose and Garcia, two of his teammates in the Europe Ryder Cup team. “I cried when Sergio won,” McIlroy said. “When I saw him recently it was the first time since The Masters and I gave him the biggest bear hug.”

The famous golf correspondent Bernard Darwin once wrote a book called Life is Sweet, Brother. For Garcia and McIlroy life could hardly be any sweeter. If a happy man makes a good golfer look for either, or perhaps both, to be in contention this week at the Players.


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