McIlroy Nerves Of Steel Wins Dubai Desert Classic Over Tee-Gate Rival Reed

On Monday, Rory McIlroy beat tee-gate rival Patrick Reed by ONE SHOT to win the Dubai Desert Classic with a nerveless pair of birdies on the final two holes to overcome his American nemesis.

The top-ranked McIlroy overcame a final-round charge from Reed to win the Dubai Desert Classic for the third time after a tense duel between players who were involved in a pretournament spat.

Before the tournament began, a video was released of McIlroy not paying attention to Reed on the driving range, and Reed then throwing a tee in the direction of the world's top-ranked golfer. McIlroy and Reed had a public disagreement, with McIlroy making his disinterest in the American clear. Reed retorted by calling McIlroy an “immature child”.[0]

On Sunday, Reed found himself in a tricky situation on the 17th hole after his tee shot was lodged in a tree.[1] Using binoculars, a rules official was satisfied that a ball with Reed’s distinctive markings was lodged in the tree, allowing him to take an unplayable penalty drop below.[2]

McIlroy said he was subpoenaed by Reed's lawyer on Christmas Eve, and when asked about the encounter on the range, he 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.”[3]

McIlroy commented on the situation, saying: “If it had been anyone else, it's a non-issue, right. I felt it was fine. Kev Feeney is a really experienced referee out here and he's not going to do anything wrong. Because of certain things in the past, people brought some stuff up, which is maybe unfair in some ways. Again, I don't feel like he was trying to get any advantage.”[4]

Reed, a LIV Golf rebel, had reportedly thrown a tee at McIlroy after being ignored on the range.

0. “Rory McIlroy Admits To Having To Block Out The Patrick Reed Drama During Final Round Win In Dubai” OutKick , 30 Jan. 2023,

1. “Video: Potential Cheating Controversy Involving Patrick Reed In Dubai” OutKick , 30 Jan. 2023,

2. “Patrick Reed involved in another BIZARRE rules question after ball gets stuck in tree” Australian Golf Digest, 29 Jan. 2023,

3. “Cut Line: Pettiness reaches new level with Tee-gate and the Rory-Reed drama” Yahoo Sports, 27 Jan. 2023,

4. “Tree-gate takes EXPLOSIVE twist with comment from Patrick Reed's playing partner”, 30 Jan. 2023,