McIlroy upsets Reed, unhappy with Dubai reconciliation
As one of LIV Golf’s fiercest critics, Rory McIlroy decided to put down his clubs for a few weeks at the end of last year when he felt he was losing his mind.
“It was good,” the top-ranked McIlroy said, “to take some time off and try to get away from golf.”
Now he’s back and looking more spirited than ever.
When McIlroy was on the practice line at the Dubai Desert Classic on Tuesday, he was approached by Patrick Reed, one of the top players to move to the Saudi-backed series that has changed the face of the game. Golf in 2022.
McIlroy said he was busy practicing and didn’t need to acknowledge Reed.
“Patrick came over to say hello, and I really didn’t want him to,” McIlroy said Wednesday.
McIlroy was asked about the American throwing a tee at him. The four-time winner said he did not see or feel anything.
“But it seems to have happened,” McIlroy said. “If the tables were turned and I threw a t-shirt at him, I would expect him to file a lawsuit.”
That mocked McIlroy, who said he received a subpoena from Reed’s lawyers on Christmas Eve. He did not provide details of the subpoena, but Reed filed a defamation lawsuit last month.
McIlroy is clearly not in the mood for a reconciliation in Dubai.
“Obviously, trying to have a good time with my family, you don’t take it well when someone comes to your door and tries to deliver it to you,” McIlroy said.
“Again, I really live, I don’t know where he lives. If I were him, I wouldn’t wait for a hello or a handshake.
The Associated Press reached out to Reed on Tuesday about McIlroy’s comments about the interaction.
McIlroy was then asked if it would be worthwhile to “fix your relationship” with LIV rebel Sergio Garcia if it would help the European cause ahead of this year’s Ryder Cup.
“No,” replied the Northern Irishman.
The price McIlroy has to pay for being an effective anti-LIV spokeswoman didn’t stop him from returning to the top of the world rankings late last year.
His last competitive tournament was the World Tour Championship in Dubai in November.
McIlroy said the break allowed him to “recharge and reset and start 2023 with renewed optimism” and he returned to the Middle East with unfinished business.
At last year’s Dubai Desert Classic, McIlroy shared the lead after 71 holes but bogeyed the par-5 No. 18 on Sunday after hitting his second shot into the water in front of the green. He finished one stroke behind Victor Hovland and Richard Bland, and Hovland won the playoff.
“It wasn’t the way I wanted to finish,” McIlroy said. “But you know, I just kept going from this week and played really well and had a great year.”
McIlroy is a two-time winner of the event – in 2009, his first title as a pro at the age of 19, and in 2015 – and loves coming to this part of the world.
“I’ve been coming here for a long time, 17 years,” he says. “I feel comfortable here. I love starting my year here. I have many friends. I called this place home for four years.
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