A row at the Dubai Desert Classic driving range has led to tensions flaring between those on the Saudi-backed tour and fans of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.
After the report on Spanish website ten-golf.com claimed Reed threw a tee at McIlroy after being snubbed, the Northern Irishman clarified the situation.
“I was laying by my bag and he came up to me and I was busy working and kind of practicing and I didn’t really feel like it … I didn’t feel the need to acknowledge him,” McIlroy said.
“So I didn’t see the triple moving in my direction at all, but apparently it did. And if the roles were reversed and I threw that tee at him, I’d expect a lawsuit.”
That was a reference to the legal action Reed has taken on several fronts since his decision to join the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.
The former Masters champion is one of 13 players involved in an arbitration case with the DP World Tour over sanctions imposed for playing in the inaugural LIV event last June, and has launched defamation lawsuits against several media representatives and organizations.
The attorney representing Reed in the case also subpoenaed McIlroy and Tiger Woods in connection with a players-only meeting that took place before the BMW Championship in August.
The lawsuits are part of a civil lawsuit filed in June by Larry Kleiman, who alleges Florida residents who purchased or would purchase tickets to PGA Tour events in the future were harmed by the PGA Tour’s alleged weakening of the field by suspending players. who joined the LIV.
Asked whether it was naïve of Reed to expect a warm welcome given the circumstances, McIlroy told Sky Sports: “I was summoned to court by his lawyer on Christmas Eve.
“So of course if I’m trying to have a good time with my family and someone shows up on your doorstep and delivers it, you’re not going to take it well.
“I live in reality, I don’t know where he lives. If I were in his place, I wouldn’t expect a hello or a handshake.”
McIlroy also ruled out rekindling his previously close relationship with another LIV player, Sergio Garciaand rejected claims that LIV CEO Greg Norman’s position had been strengthened by Majed Al Sarour, who has reportedly stepped down as chief executive.
“If the executive director doesn’t have an executive team, I don’t know how strong it is,” said McIlroy, whose call for Norman to step down to allow a settlement of golf’s civil war to be negotiated was echoed by Tiger. Woods.
“He can’t do it himself. He needs to rely on the team, as we all rely on teams, right, to do anything.”
PA contributed to this report