Rory Macilroy Christmas Eve Patrick Reed Usa Dubai Sporting golf Rory Macilroy Christmas Eve Patrick Reed Usa Dubai

Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed and teegate is just the start of golf’s drama in 2023

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Get your popcorn ready: Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed have lit the fuse for what promises to be an explosive year in golf.It appears naive of Reed to even approach McIlroy, given he was served a court summons by the American’s lawyers on Christmas Eve.Reed’s gesture, to toss a tee in McIlroy’s direction after being snubbed by the world No 1, might be innocuous to some.

Yet there may have been a more sinister side to Reed’s move, given the tee was embroided with his LIV Team Aces logo.McIlroy denies noticing a tee at all, but disrupting his preparation and reminding him of the biggest threat to the tour he represents would undoubtedly prove irksome.But while Reed joked about the severity of his actions, labelling McIlroy “an immature little child,” his churlish response illustrates the difficulty in finding common ground between LIV and the PGA Tour.Reed, who has a lifetime exemption to the Masters as a former champion, evidently fails to understand the severity of the situation, which has both damaged the sport and inspired much-needed and belated change.The Dubai Desert Classic, as a DP World Tour event, offers LIV Golf players, who are banished from the PGA Tour, a temporary opportunity to harvest Official World Golf Rankings points.

Reed and co. are not silly and know these points are more precious than ever given the expected neutrality of the sport’s major tournaments in this bitter civil war.

Perform well enough this week and LIV players can tread water a little longer in the rankings while the rebel tour pursues a way to legitimise their events with the OWGR.So it will be fascinating to observe if any psychological edge spills over onto the Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club.As Reed chuckled to himself after

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