DUBAI – The feud between two of the world’s top golfers continued on Wednesday with Rory McIlroy saying he did “not feel the need to acknowledge” Patrick Reed, who reportedly threw a tee towards the world No. 1 on the practice range of the Dubai Desert Classic.
The incident, which occurred on Tuesday and was first reported by Spanish website TenGolf, saw Reed apparently standing behind McIlroy while he was hitting balls.
When McIlroy did not turn and speak to him, Reed left and threw a tee on the ground in anger.
The two have been at odds since McIlroy criticised players, including Reed, who joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit, although McIlroy played down the incident.
“It was nothing,” the 33-year-old told a press conference. “Patrick came up to say hello and I didn’t really want him to. From my recollection, that was it. I didn’t see a tee. I didn’t feel a tee.
“Obviously, someone else saw that. But it’s definitely a storm in a teacup. I can’t believe it’s actually turned into a story.
“I didn’t see him. I was down by my bag and he came up to me, and I was busy working and sort of doing my practice, and I didn’t really feel the need to acknowledge him.
“I didn’t see a tee coming in my direction at all but apparently that’s what happened.
“And if roles were reversed and I’d have thrown that tee at him, I’d be expecting him to bring a lawsuit,” added McIlroy who was served a subpoena by Reed to appear as a witness in his case against the Golf Channel, Brandel Chamblee and the PGA Tour.
“I was subpoenaed by his lawyer on Christmas Eve,” said four-time major champion McIlroy.
“I was trying to have a nice time with my family and someone shows up on your doorstep and delivers that, you’re not going to take that well.
“You can’t pretend like nothing’s happening, right?
“So again, I’m living in reality. I don’t know where he’s living. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t expect a hello or a handshake.”
McIlroy said he felt mentally drained towards the end of last season because of everything going on outside the ropes, supporting the PGA Tour against the rise of LIV Golf.
“On reflection, I felt like I needed t...