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'It's hard to believe we miss Patrick Reed': Padraig Harrington perfectly sums up the state of golf (and offers his solution to fix it)

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Ross Kinnaird

Last week's incredibly exciting finish to the PGA Championship proved something we already knew—professional golf is far better when the LIV Golf guys are playing alongside their former PGA Tour brethren. The weekend at Valhalla would not have been what it was without Bryson DeChambeau's charge, and the fact we don't see DeChambeau play against the world's best more often almost seems criminal.

Former PGA champion Padraig Harrington shares that sentiment, saying as much during a Golf Channel interview live from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship on Wednesday. Harrington, who missed the cut in Louisville, kicked back and watched all the action unfold from the final two rounds, and he was loving what he was seeing.

"I realized last week, God we miss Bryson," the Irishman said. "Like, Bryson was box office last week. He really, really helped that tournament, helped pushed Xander's [Schauffele] win on. It was fantastic, interesting, exciting watching."

Harrington is far from alone. Many fans watching at home couldn't believe what they were seeing as DeChambeau threatened to win his second major title. There were also reports from on the grounds that, despite Schauffele being a PGA Tour loyalist, Kentucky fans seemed to be firmly in DeChambeau's corner.

Would that have been the case for, say, a Brooks Koepka or a Patrick Reed, to other major winners who jumped from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf? Unlikely, though Harrington believes the PGA Tour isn’t as strong without them.

"We miss those guys," he said. "I think, it's hard to believe we miss Patrick Reed, that's just the way it is."

Harrington, who spends most of his time on the PGA Tour Champions now, did not shy away from offering up what he believes would be a fix to bring everyone back together more often. That fix involves LIV being here to stay.

"I think, ultimately if you were looking to me for the perfect solution, I would have at least the two tours and have some crossover like we did back in the day," said Harrington. "Everybody's got a bit of a chip on their shoulder, a certain amount of players can come and go back and forth. A few invites, something like that.

"Rivalries are a good thing in sport. It's always been helpful, but we do need a solution, I will say that. That's the one thing that every day for the last two years I've had an opinion and all I've found is, wow, it just keeps moving and changing because the scene changes. I think everybody in golf wants a solution."

While it sounds like Harrington wouldn't be a bad guy to listen to as this saga continues to drag out, he's a bit busier with other things, like attempting to win his second senior major this week at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Michigan. Harrington tees off this afternoon at 1:35 p.m. ET.