Reconciliation with Patrick Reed appears to be off the table for Rory McIlroy.
The latest turn in the LIV vs. PGA staredown playing out in Dubai this week devolved from finger-pointing to name-calling after staunch LIV opposer McIlroy ignored Reed’s apparent attempt at repairing their relationship on the driving range.
“Rory just looked down there and was messing with his Trackman and kind of decided to ignore us,” Reed said of his take on the so-called snub from McIlroy at the Dubai Desert Classic, admitting he responded to the Northern Irishman’s silence by flicking a golf tee in his direction.
“We all knew where it came from — being part of LIV. Since my tees are Team (4) Aces LIV tees, I flicked him one. It was kind of a funny shot back. Funny how a small little flick has turned into basically me stabbing him and throwing a tee at him. He saw me, and he decided not to react. It’s unfortunate because we’ve always had a good relationship. … But it’s one of those things, if you’re going to act like an immature little child, then you might as well be treated like one.”
McIlroy claimed he didn’t see or feel the tee. He said there’s far more context necessary than disliking players who left the PGA Tour for the LIV Golf Series in 2022.
“Patrick came up to say hello, and I didn’t really want him to,” McIlroy said Wednesday. “And if roles were reversed and I’d have thrown that tee at him, I’d be expecting him (to file) a lawsuit.”
As for the additional context: McIlroy said he and his family were interrupted on Christmas Eve when he was served a subpoena by Reed’s lawyers. McIlroy didn’t confirm that the subpoena is directly tied to Reed’s re-filed $750 million defamation lawsuit claiming the PGA Tour, Golf Channel, Gannett, which owns Golfweek, and others acted in concert in “conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and tortious interference.”
“The PGA Tour’s and its ‘partner’ the NBC’s Golf Channel’s mission is to destroy a top LIV Golf Tour player, his family, as well as all of the LIV Golf players, to further their agenda and alleged collaborative efforts to destroy the new LIV Golf Tour,” Reed’s attorney, Larry Klayman, said in a news release in September. “As alleged in the Complaint, these calculated malicious attacks have created hate, aided and abetted a hostile workplace environment, and have caused substantial financial and emotional damage and harm to Mr. Reed and his family.”
Reed, 32, had two top-five finishes in 2022 on the LIV circuit. He won nine times on the PGA Tour.