DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rory McIlroy overcame a final-round charge from Patrick Reed to win a tense Monday duel between players involved in a pre-tournament skirmish.
Top-ranked McIlroy made a 4-under-par 68 on the 18th with a birdie putt from about 15 feet to keep the lead to just one from a 65.
McIlroy won his third title and started the year with the first win of his career.
The Northern Irishman started the round four and three behind Reed, but was passed by Reed in the back nine.
The lead was bogeyed on the 16th, but a birdie on the 18th put McIlroy under pressure and finished 19-under overall.
The two traded verbal blows on Wednesday after seeing McIlroy ignore Reed on Tuesday’s practice range.
Reid walked away before throwing a tee adorned with the logo of his four-ace team in the LIV Golf League in the direction of McIlroy, one of the most vocal critics of the Saudi-run breakaway series.
Reid was quoted as saying it was “disappointing” that McIlroy didn’t shake hands, and described McIlroy as an “immature little kid”.
Other AP Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports