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Rory McIlroy: ‘If roles were reversed and I'd have of thrown that tee at him, I'd be expecting a lawsuit’

Rory Mclroy responds to Patrick Reed tee incident in Dubai and says he ‘didn’t feel the need to acknowledge’ the American

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks on in a press conference prior to the Hero Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on January 25, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)© Getty Images

Brian KeoghIndependent.ie

Rory McIlroy insists he “didn’t feel the need” to acknowledge Patrick Reed and would have expected a lawsuit if he’d thrown a tee at the American.

While he’s taking legal action against the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, Reed tried to make peace with McIlroy on the range at the Emirates Golf Club on Tuesday ahead of this week’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic but was ignored by the world number one McIlroy, so he flicked a tee in his direction in disgust.

The American told reporters he just threw the tee down in disgust, but McIlroy is clearly in no mood to make peace with the LIV Golf defector after being served with a supoena by Reed’s lawyer on Christmas Eve as a “co-conspirator” in a class action case Reed is taking against the PGA Tour.

“I didn't see it,” McIlroy said of the tee. “I was down by my bag and he came up to me, and I was busy working and sort of doing my practise, and I didn't really feel like - I didn't 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 of thrown that tee at him, I'd be expecting a lawsuit from him.”

Asked if it was naïve of Reed to expect a warm welcome given the circumstances, McIlroy told Sky Sports: "I was subpoenaed by his lawyer on Christmas Eve.

"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.

"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."

Asked if he could see himself “mending bridges” with Reed, McIlroy stared back at his inquisitor with an incredulous expression.

As for mending bridges with Sergio Garcia, who is eligible for a Ryder Cup wildcard from Luke Donald as an honorary member of the Dp World Tour, McIlroy was clear.

“No,” he said.

Pressed again, “No way,” he simply shook his head.

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