By Fatiha Betscher in Dubai.
Patrick Reed has presented his side of the story by declaring he did not throw any golf tee in the direction of World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
It has been reported widely by websites and newspapers around the globe, and following a story written in Spanish on the Ten Golf website, that Masters champion Reed hurled a tee in disgust after the Texan was blanked by McIlroy in wishing him a ‘Happy New Year’ while each were on the Emirates Club practice range.
In speaking this morning to Alejandro Rodriguez and his colleague David Duran from Ten Golf, they agreed categorically Reed did not hurl a tee at McIlroy on Monday.
Not as dramatic when you see the video 😂 pic.twitter.com/n8cH76OaTL
— Irish Golfer (@IrishGolferMag) January 25, 2023
Firstly, McIlroy had been speaking with TaylorMade representative with Reed saying that he also intended to speak to the rep about a 3-wood he has been using.
“I was testing one of the new TaylorMade 3-woods last week in Abu Dhabi and I wanted to relay to the rep what I felt using the club,” said Reed.
“And because I was over there near Rory, and the fact that he and I have had so many battles on the golf course over the years, I thought I would wish him and Harry (Diamond – McIlroy’s caddy) a Happy New Year.
“Harry was reciprocal in also wishing me a Happy New Year and then I wanted to also wish the same to Rory.
“He was bending down by the side of his bag looking at his Trackman but then in wishing him a Happy New Year, he didn’t say anything. So, I felt okay then. I felt the fact he didn’t reply to me was all about me being LIV.
“I then reacted by tossing down a tee, one of my Four Aces tees, beside us and that was it.
“So, it is nothing like what is being reported in the media. I threw the tee down beside me. I know why he was trying to ignore me and all the other LIV golfers is because of LIV.
“If I was still a PGA Tour member or a member of any other Tour he would have said ‘Hello’. So, this is the way Rory has decided to act.”
McIlroy responded to the incident also following his participation in the Pro-Am ahead of the DP World Tour event he’s won twice in his career.
“Patrick came up to say ‘hello’ and I didn’t really want him to,” said McIlroy.
“In my — from my recollection, that was it. I didn’t see a tee. My back was turned and I didn’t see anything. Obviously, someone else saw that. But it’s definitely a storm in a teacup.
“Obviously nothing — I can’t believe it’s actually turned into a story. Yeah, it’s nothing.”
McIlroy was asked by this journalist within the media centre if he understood Reed was seeking to mend bridges between the two but then, and for a first time in my 30-years reporting on men’s professional golf, McIlroy sat there with a blank look of his face saying nothing.
Reed was asked if he felt McIlroy’s reaction was due to a lawsuit issued on Christmas Day against the PGA Tour but with Reed clarifying the lawsuit was not issued by him but by a US-based law firm, Klayman’s Law Group.
“Larry is part of my team of lawyers, and the lawsuit is Larry versus the PGA Tour whereas mine are the defamation cases,” said Reed.
McIlroy responded saying: “I mean, exactly, right. Like that’s — I mean, I got a subpoena on Christmas Eve. I mean, I don’t see your — like you can’t pretend like nothing’s happening, right. I think that’s the thing. Like why — we are living in reality here. He’s — no, so..”