Patrick Reed has teed off on Rory McIlroy – literally.
The two golf stars were on the driving range at Emirates Golf Club on Tuesday for this week’s Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour when Reed, who last year dabbled in controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf, approached McIlroy and stood a few feet away. to say hello. The Northern Irishman did not look up or acknowledge him, according to Spanish magazine TenGolf.com.
Reed then acknowledged McIlroy’s caddy and stood a few seconds longer, but McIlroy continued to ignore him. Reed then walked away and in the process threw a tee in McIlroy’s direction in disgust, the report said.
McIlroy, the world No 1 and four-time major champion, has been a vocal critic of the breakaway circuit since it was launched last year, with the Northern Irishman and LIV CEO Greg Norman trading verbal blows on several occasions last year.
Reed, who won the 2018 Masters, was suspended by the PGA Tour after going to LIV but will continue to play in DP World Tour events until an arbitration case next month determines whether the European-based tour can also ban players, who plays on LIV from its tournaments. The 32-year-old has also found himself embroiled in another controversy, having filed a defamation suit against Golf Channel and analyst Brandel Chamblee, although the suit was dismissed on Friday by a federal judge in Florida.
This week’s tournament is the first of the year for McIlroy, who is coming off three wins in 2022, winning both the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai and the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup.