Rory McIlroy stares down tee-gate rival Patrick Reed as tensions heat up at the Dubai Desert Classic
Rory McIlroy stares down tee-gate rival Patrick Reed as tensions heat up at the Dubai Desert Classic, but the pair AVOID being grouped together in the third round despite being tied
- Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed’s spat has been the talk of the event in Dubai
- The rivals avoided being paired together in the third round of the tournament
- McIlroy and Reed have clashed amid LIV golf’s controversial breakaway series
World number one Rory McIlroy was pictured staring down tee-gate rival Patrick Reed at the Dubai Desert Classic.
The tension between the stars has dominated discussion in the opening days of the tournament, with the pair trading jibes amid a wider spat over LIV golf’s breakaway from the PGA Tour.
Reed had been seen flicking a tee at McIlroy on the driving range after being ignored by the Northern Irishman, who the American later labelled an ‘immature little child’.
Rory McIlroy was seen staring at Patrick Reed amid a war of words between the golfers
Reed and McIlroy have clashed this week amid LIV golf’s breakaway from the PGA Tour
McIlroy later claimed he had blanked his rival after being issued with a subpoena served on Christmas Eve by the American’s lawyer.
The world number one stared at his rival on the putting green during the ongoing Dubai Desert Classic, before glancing away.
The pair have put the spat to one side on the course during the opening two rounds of the tournament, which have been impacted by rain.
Both entered the clubhouse at eight-under-par at the halfway point of the event.
McIlroy has avoided being paired with Reed during the third round of the tournament in Dubai
It opened up the possibility of McIlroy and Reed being paired together during the third round on Sunday.
The prospect was dashed with McIlroy teeing off in a group with Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and England’s Dan Bradbury.
The trio will be in the group after Reed, who will complete his third round with England’s Matt Wallace and Julien Brun of France.
Reed had spoken about the possibility of being paired with McIlroy earlier this week, amid the spat, with the American welcoming the prospect.
‘That would be great,’ Reed said. ‘I will tell you this much, there probably won’t be much talking.
‘Even if I said hello on the first he won’t say anything. I can just be respectful and as much as a gentleman as I can be. His choice if he doesn’t respond.’
Henrik Stenson will play with Luke Donald, who replaced him as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain
McIlroy and Reed will look to close the two shot gap to the leaders Thomas Pieters of Belgium, England’s Richard Bland and the American Michael Thorbjornsen on Sunday.
The third round has thrown up a potentially awkward pairing, with Henrik Stenson and Luke Donald teeing off with Tyrrell Hatton.
Stenson was dropped as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain in July after the Swede accepted an offer in the region of £40million to defect to the Saudi-backed LIV golf series.
Donald was named as Stenson’s replacement as captain in August.
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