Here is some exceedingly silly golf beef: Widely disliked doofus Patrick Reed flicked a tee Tuesday, in anger, at Rory McIlroy, on the driving range of the Emirates Golf Club, ahead of this weekend's Dubai Desert Classic. Reed approached McIlroy during practice but when McIlroy pointedly declined to engage in handshakes or otherwise acknowledge Reed's presence, Reed reached into his pocket for a LIV Golf-branded tee and then pitched it back at McIlroy, in what was supposed to be some kind of burn. Bro, we have our own branded tees, bro.
You may find this hard to believe, but Reed does not seem to have many friends in golf. He's been dogged by accusations of cheating going back to his college days, and he made himself even less popular among many of his fellow professionals when, after bolting in June 2022 for the sweet oil money of LIV Golf, he then turned around and filed defamation suits against pretty much anyone who has ever had anything unkind to say about him, including several golfers, several journalists, a book publisher, the Associated Press, Fox Sports, the New York Post, Golfweek, and The Golf Channel. McIlroy, who has been golf's most prominent and outspoken critic of the Saudi-funded breakaway league, does not in general consider Reed a pal, even less so since McIlroy was apparently served a subpoena on Christmas Eve related to one of Reed's silly defamation claims. McIlroy clearly considers Reed something closer to an enemy than a friend.
It therefore surprised and annoyed McIlroy when Reed sauntered over on the driving range in Dubai, expecting a warm greeting. "Patrick came up to say hello, and I didn't really want him to," McIlroy explained Wednesday. "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, kneeling over his fancy launch monitor, coldly ignored the intruding doofus, even as Reed exchanged a brief handshake with McIlroy's caddie and then hovered awkwardly for several seconds.
In general it is wack for an adult to resort to pretending not to see or hear someone who is trying to address them, which is something that my 25-month-old child attempts when she knows that I am trying to tell her that it is bedtime. Nevertheless, it should not go unmentioned here that I would be very disappointed if this child—who wears diapers, sleeps with a favorite teddy bear, and pronounces the word "orange" as "o-zhwen"—threw an object at me in frustration because I was too busy to engage with her. Alas, Reed felt that this affront could not go unpunished. "Rory just looked down there and was messing with his TrackMan and kind of decided to ignore us," Reed explained. "We all knew where it came from—being part of LIV. Since my tees are Team Aces LIV tees, I flicked him one. It was kind of a funny shot back."
Was it funny? Perhaps, although perhaps not in the way that Reed intended. Throwing the tee was sad loser shit, but the real coup de grâce here is Reed later smugly congratulating himself, in public, for throwing the tee. Unfortunately for Reed, the gesture failed to gain the attention of its target: McIlroy was unaware of the retaliative tee-tossing until told about it after the fact. "Apparently that's what happened," McIlroy said, after explaining that he did not see or feel the projectile. "If roles were reversed and I'd have thrown that tee at him, I'd be expecting him [to file] a lawsuit."
"It's unfortunate because we've always had a good relationship," said Reed, evidently having completely misunderstood the nature of the relationship. "It's one of those things, if you're going to act like an immature little child, then you might as well be treated like one." I am inclined to agree with this policy, at least in this particular case. Patrick, let's go find your binky, it's nap time.