Patrick Reed knows how to compete amid controversy, and he proved so again on Thursday.
The 32-year-old’s name is often in the headlines due to his own actions (or those of his lawyer) and this week at the DP World Tour’s 2023 Hero Dubai Desert Classic is the latest example.
After overnight rain delayed tee times for six hours and five minutes on Thursday, just 12 players completed their first rounds before daylight ran out. Currently through 16 holes, Reed finds himself in a six-way tie for second at 4 under, one shot behind Thomas Pieters, who has played 15 holes.
Social media erupted earlier in the week due to an incident that occurred when Reed approached world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and his caddie, Harry Diamond, on the range. Reed and Diamond shook hands, but McIlroy failed to acknowledge Reed, who tossed a LIV Golf tee McIlroy’s way as he turned to leave.
“Since my tees are ‘Team Aces LIV’ tees I flicked him one,” Reed told the Daily Mail on Wednesday. “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.”
“But it is one of those things,” Reed continued, ” if you’re going to act like an immature little child then you might as well be treated like one.”
“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,” explained McIlroy. “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.”
McIlroy is currently T-12 at 2 under through 15 holes. The two were scheduled to tee off at the same time on Thursday, though on different holes. Fingers crossed for a weekend pairing.
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