The battle between the PGA Tour’s top players and LIV Golf is continuing into the New Year with Rory McIlroy showing no interest in making amends with one of the Saudi-backed circuit’s most prolific players.
Reports this week indicated that Patrick Reed had approached McIlroy during a practice round of the Dubai Desert Classic on Monday to shake his hand. After getting snubbed by McIlroy, the LIV golfer reportedly threw a tee in his direction.
Video of the supposed interaction shows the awkward moment Reed held his hand out before eventually walking away and turning in McIlroy’s direction one last time to toss something at him.
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During a press conference on Monday, McIlroy said he didn’t see anything tossed at him but confirmed his lack of interest in shaking Reed’s hand amid their ongoing legal troubles.
“I didn’t see it. 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 like – I didn’t feel the need to acknowledge him,” he told reporters.
“I didn’t see a tee come in my direction at all but apparently that’s what happened and if the roles were reversed, and I had thrown that tee at him, I’d be expecting a lawsuit.”
McIlroy went on to say that after getting served with a subpoena from Reed over the holidays, he’s not sure what the PGA Tour defector expected.
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“I mean I got a subpoena on Christmas Eve, I don’t see – like you can’t pretend like nothing’s happening, right? I think that’s the thing… we’re living in reality here, he’s not.”
McIlroy was further asked if he could ever see himself “mending” the relationship with Reed. He simply responded with a shocked expression, shaking his head “no.”
McIlroy addressed the incident further on Wednesday, saying again if the roles were reversed, “I wouldn’t expect a hello or a handshake.”
“I was subpoenaed by his lawyer on Christmas Eve. So of course, 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. 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.”
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Reed responded to McIlroy’s snub, adding that it has everything to do with LIV Golf – a notion McIlroy likely wouldn’t disagree with.
“I walked over there and wished [McIlroy’s caddie] Harry [Diamond] Happy New Year and then Rory, because it is the first time I have seen them,” Reed told reporters, via the New York Post. “Harry shook my hand and Rory just looked down there and was messing with his Trackman (device) and kind of decided to ignore us.”
“We all know where it came from – being part of LIV. Since my tees are Team 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 added: “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.”