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Dubai Desert Classic delayed after huge downpour

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The first round of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic was delayed by more than six hours after heavy overnight rain left the course unplayable.Players and officials were informed in the early hours of Thursday morning that Emirates Golf Club was "inaccessible" and told not to attempt to travel to the course due to several roads being flooded.Following a few hours of dry weather and a massive clean-up operation by ground staff, the course was reopened and play got under way at 1315 local time.World number one Rory McIlroy was due to start his bid for a third victory in the event from the 10th tee at 1.45pm local time (9.45am Irish time).McIlroy has been embroiled in a war of words with Patrick Reed after an incident on the range earlier this week.Reed threw a tee towards McIlroy after being snubbed by the world number one.Asked what had happened in his pre-tournament press conference, McIlroy said: "I was down by my bag and he came up to me, and I was busy working and sort of doing my practice, and I didn't really feel like...

I didn't feel the need to acknowledge him."So I didn't see a tee coming my direction at all, but apparently that's what happened.

And if roles were reversed and I'd have thrown that tee at him, I'd be expecting a lawsuit."That was a reference to the legal action Reed is taking on several fronts following his decision to join the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.

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