PGA vs. LIV: Rory McIlroy Questions Greg Norman After Snubbing Patrick Reed

A tossed tee at the Dubai Desert Classic is making waves

Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed at the Memorial Tournament in 2022.
Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed don't appear to be on good terms.
Michael Reaves/Getty

In what has become somewhat of a daily occurrence, members of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf are seeing red when they get together on the green.

The latest dust-up, if you want to call it that, occurred at the Dubai Desert Classic when LIV golfer Patrick Reed approached PGA defender Rory McIlroy on the range to say hello and perhaps clarify why he is involved with multiple lawsuits targeting the Northern Irishman’s golf circuit of choice. McIlroy, who was crouching while working with his coach Michael Bannon and his caddie Harry Diamond at the time, didn’t give Reed the time of day. Reed, bummed about not getting a handshake or fist bump, walked away and then stopped to throw a golf tee in McIlroy’s general direction.

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Despite generating less physical contact than a middle school dance or NBA “fight,” the tee incident led to both golfers being questioned about exactly what happened and why.

Here’s Reed’s explanation, courtesy of “I walked over there and wished Harry a Happy New Year and then Rory because it is the first time I have seen them. [Rory] was messing with his TrackMan 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. 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.”

The so-called child in the situation, McIlroy, explained what went down like this: “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 the need to acknowledge him. So 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…. 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.”

Some proper shade-throwing from both sides, but the lawsuit dig from McIlroy, who was served a subpoena on Christmas Eve due to one of Reed’s legal filings, probably nets him the win.

In addition to taking on Reed before tackling the course in Dubai, McIlroy also continued to talk trash about LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and weighed in on how he thinks the embattled executive will do with a reduced team in the wake of some key resignations.

“I mean, if the chief executive doesn’t have an executive team, I don’t know how strong that is,” McIlroy said. “I mean, he can’t do it himself. He needs to rely on a team just like all of us rely on teams to do things. If you are sort of operating solo, it starts to get pretty difficult.”

Certainly does.

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