Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed reportedly had an unpleasant exchange on the driving range ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic this week.
According to a story that was published by Spanish media outlet Ten-Golf.com Tuesday (via The Independent), Reed tried to greet McIlroy on the driving range at the Emirates Golf Club, but the World No. 1 ignored him. Reed then stood for a few seconds and greeted McIlroy’s caddie, Harry Diamond. McIlroy continued to completely ignore Reed, which apparently did not sit well with the 2018 Masters champion.
Reed then reached into his pocket and threw a tee at McIlroy before walking away, according to those who witnessed the incident.
McIlroy has been very vocal in criticizing LIV Golf and the golfers who have left the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-backed league. Reed, who was already a polarizing figure on the PGA Tour, signed with LIV last year. He then filed a massive defamation lawsuit against analyst Brandel Chamblee and Golf Channel. The suit was dismissed last week by a federal judge in Florida.
LIV golfers have been banned from PGA Tour events, but they are still permitted to take part in DP World Tour (aka European Tour) tournaments. LIV players were also banned from the DP World Tour, but a stay was granted that allows them to continue to play in DP World Tour events while the case plays out in court.
All of that has created serious tension among PGA Tour and LIV golfers. McIlroy has been at the center of a lot of the drama. His incident with Reed is just the latest saga.