Tensions continue to rise between PGA TOUR and LIV Golf members after Patrick Reed reportedly “flicked” a golf tee at Rory McIlroy after the World No. 1 ignored him at the Dubai Desert Classic. Reed attempted to say hello and was snubbed.
“I didn’t feel the need to acknowledge him,” McIlroy said when asked about it at a press conference for the event. “I was subpoenaed by his lawyer on Christmas Eve...If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t expect a hello or a handshake.”
Rory McIlroy on Patrick Reed/TeeGate: "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 of thrown that tee at him, I'd be expecting him a lawsuit."https://t.co/IN6q73bhXX— Brentley Romine (@BrentleyGC) January 25, 2023
McIlroy added that if he had been the one to throw the tee, he would have expected a lawsuit from Reed. Reed has filed multiple defamation lawsuits, one of which was dismissed by a judge on Friday. He is also part of a larger antitrust lawsuit that LIV golfers are filing against the PGA TOUR.
Per Golf Digest, when Reed was asked about the incident, he responded, “[Rory] saw me and he decided not to not to react. It’s unfortunate because we’ve always had a good relationship … But it is one of those things—if you’re going to act like an immature little child then you might as well be treated like one.”
“Funny how a small little flick has turned into basically me stabbing him and throwing a tee at him,” he added.
A flick is hardly a punch in the face, but it has a similar effect in the golf world. So far, a lot of lawsuits and words have been thrown around, but this was a full-on showdown between LIV and the PGA TOUR.