McIlroy confirms he blanked Reed in Dubai

By Sports Desk January 25, 2023

Rory McIlroy saw no need to defend his actions after he blanked Patrick Reed at a practice session ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Reed is alleged to have thrown a golf tee at McIlroy after the world number one refused to acknowledge him.

McIlroy has stressed he did not see a tee being thrown at him, while Reed denied it.

However, McIlroy explained he has no desire to speak to Reed, who the Northern Irishman has claimed sent him court papers on Christmas Eve.

Reed is one of several high-profile players to have joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series last year, a Saudi-backed breakaway from the PGA Tour, the main tour for which McIlroy has become an unofficial spokesperson over the past 12 months.

"Patrick came up to say hello and I didn't really want him to," McIlroy told reporters in Dubai.

"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; it's nothing.

"I was down by my bag, and he came up to me. I was busy working and sort of doing my practice. I didn't feel the need to acknowledge him."

It is unclear if McIlroy will take any further steps, though the 33-year-old added: "I didn't see a tee coming 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 a lawsuit."

McIlroy also suggested Reed must be living in a different world if he believed the four-time major champion would shake his hand.

"I was subpoenaed by his lawyer on Christmas Eve," McIlroy said.

"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.

"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 again reiterated his opposition to LIV Golf, saying: "There's no point in just being a mouthpiece when you can't back that up by playing good golf and showing people the rewards people can have out here if they are playing well.

"It's a merit-based system. That's the thing that I've always struggled with: if a five-year-old boy or girl know that they work hard and they shoot the scores, there's a merit-based system in golf all the way through junior golf, amateur golf, all the way up to the professional level, and they can make it to the top levels of the game.

"This is the one thing that's come into the game that has disrupted that. It's not a merit-based system."

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