Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday that he “didn’t feel the need” to recognize Patrick Reed at the Dubai Desert Classic and that Reed’s attorney served him a subpoena on Christmas Eve.
Reports surfaced earlier in the week that McIlroy had ignored Reed when the former Masters champion and current LIV Golf member approached the McIlroy, and that Reed had even thrown a tee in McIlroy’s direction after being rejected.
Asked about his (lack of) interaction with Reed on Wednesday, McIlroy said he “can’t believe it actually turned into a story” while explaining why he doesn’t want to have much to do with Reed.
“Patrick came up to say hello and I really didn’t want him to do that,” McIlroy said. “As far as I can remember, that was it. I didn’t see a tee. I didn’t feel a drop. Obviously someone else saw that. But it’s definitely a storm in a teacup. Obviously nothing – I can’t believe it actually made a story out of this.”
Reed is currently playing the DP World Tour event in Dubai to earn points towards the official world golf rankings. LIV events are not eligible for OWGR points and golfers like Reed play events on the former European Tour to try to stay afloat in the rankings.
In addition to playing golf in both LIV and DP World Tour events, Reed has also been busy being contentious. His defamation lawsuit against the Golf Channel and its analysts was dismissed in a Florida district court on Friday.
According to the Guardian, it is “understood” that McIlroy was called as a witness at Reed’s trial and is the reason he received a subpoena over the holiday.
“Yes, I was subpoenaed by his attorney on Christmas Eve,” McIlroy said. “So obviously if you’re trying to have a quality 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 lives. If I were him, I wouldn’t expect a hello or a handshake.”
The Dubai event is McIlroy’s first tournament of 2023 as he did not compete in the season-opening Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. World No. 2 Jon Rahm won the Tournament of Champions and the American Express last weekend and is also in the field at the Farmers Insurance Open starting Wednesday. Rahm is outstanding at Torrey Pines and could take over the world number one from McIlroy with another win.
“As we all know, Jon is one of the best players in the world, it doesn’t matter if there’s a 1 or a 2 next to his name,” said McIlroy. “He has won four of his last six events. He plays the best golf he has played in his career. He hasn’t had a long career yet, but throughout his career he’s consistently played at a very, very high level.”