‘Immature little child’: Patrick Reed fires back at Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed’s latest spat seems to be topping their match from the 2016 Ryder Cup. At least in terms of pettiness.
An incident on the driving range Tuesday at the Dubai Desert Classic when Reed allegedly threw a tee at the World No. 1 when McIlroy didn’t acknowledge him took social media by storm. Wednesday, McIlroy didn’t hold back when asked about “Teegate” in his press conference.
“I didn’t feel the need to acknowledge him,” McIlroy said. “And if roles were reversed and I’d have thrown that tee at him, I’d be expecting a lawsuit.”
The lawsuit comment McIlroy made alludes to something else we learned on Wednesday.
“I was subpoenaed by his lawyer on Christmas Eve,” McIlroy said. “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.”
Now the LIV Golf defector Reed is taking his turn to trade blows in the press.
Speaking to the Daily Mail’s Riath Al-Samarrai, Reed offered his side of the story and said he believed McIlroy wasn’t going to ignore him.
“Because of the relationship I’ve had with Rory— let’s be honest, we’ve had some great battles at Augusta and other tournaments and our friendships been pretty good up until obviously joining LIV,” Reed said. “I walked over there and wished Harry [Diamond, McIlroy’s caddie] Happy New Year and then Rory because it is the first time I have seen them.
“Harry shook my hand and Rory just looked down there and 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.”
He added the subpoena, part of one of the several lawsuits Reed and his legal team have filed against various media members and outlets over the past several months, had “nothing to do with me.”
“He saw me and he decided not to react. It’s unfortunate,” Reed said. “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.”
Al-Samarrai then asked Reed about the potential of playing with McIlroy, who is making his 2023 debut this week in Dubai. Reed is playing his second DP World Tour event of the year while ongoing litigation determines the eligibility of LIV golfers on that tour in the UK courts.
“That would be great,” Reed said. “I will tell you this much, there probably won’t be much talking. Even if I said hello on the first he won’t say anything. I can just be respectful and as much as a gentleman as I can be. His choice if he doesn’t respond.”
The pair have a longstanding rivalry on the course. Reed and McIlroy were paired together in the final round of the 2018 Masters when Reed picked up his only major title. Reed also won what turned out to be a clutch point for the Americans 1 up against McIlroy on singles Sunday of the 2016 Ryder Cup.
And according to Reed, he thinks a lot of the animosity directed at him from McIlory goes back to that Sunday at Hazeltine.
“I think he is still bitter,” he said.
Across the 17 rounds they’ve played together on the PGA Tour, McIlroy has edged Reed by an average of nearly a shot and a half (1.41) per round.