Patrick Reed relished an "epic battle" with Rory McIlroy and shrugged off another controversy by stating "I know who I am" after missing out on a Dubai Desert Classic victory.

Reed has been in the spotlight at Emirates Golf Club after the American threw a tee towards McIlroy, having been snubbed for a handshake following a dispute between the pair.

LIV Golf star Reed was the centre of attention again on Sunday when he took an unplayable penalty drop after his ball got lodged in a tree, with question marks raised over whether it was in fact his ball he had identified by using binoculars.

When the tournament finally came to an end on Monday as a result of poor weather last week, Reed carded a seven-under 65 to ramp up the pressure on McIlroy.

A birdie at the 18th for Reed drew him level with the Northern Irishman at the top of the leaderboard, but McIlroy sunk a putt from 15 feet for a gain of his own to finish on 19 under with a round of 68 and take the title.

McIlroy had put a stray tee shot just short of the water at the last hole, but got himself out of trouble to seal a third Dubai Desert Classic win that he said was all the sweeter given he denied Reed.

Reed said: "I knew what I had to do early. I went out there and I put the pressure on him. Being four back of a guy like Rory is not easy.

"I battled it out, but missed a great opportunity on 15. The only real bad shot I hit was the tee shot on 16 [which resulted in his only bogey of the day]. Ended up behind the tree."

On the subject of trees, Reed was unperturbed over questions being raised about his integrity on Sunday.

"I don't really look at media or social media whenever I'm playing a tournament," he said. "Normally it's always negative, so I try to stay away from it.

"I've heard about it, but really all I can say is that I looked through the binoculars, identified my golf ball and explained what my markings were to the rules official. He looked and he identified [the ball] exactly the same way I did."

He added: "The good thing is I know who I am. All I can do is focus on my golf and focus on me. Felt like I've done that this week. Felt like I played great.

"It always seems to come down to Rory and I. We love to put on a good show. Unfortunately, I was on the wrong end of this one. Hats off to him, he played some great golf, especially on the weekend.

"It would have been even better if both of us were in the same group. But whenever he and I are battling, we have fun and epic battles."

Rory McIlroy said his victory over Patrick Reed at the Dubai Desert Classic was "sweeter than it should be or needs to be".

World number one McIlroy clinched his third title at the event in a thrilling final round, making a fine birdie at the last hole on Monday to fend off rival Reed.

Prior to the tournament American and LIV Golf defector Reed labelled McIlroy an "immature little child" for blanking him at the practice range and was also alleged to have thrown a tee at the Northern Irishman.

McIlroy said Reed's lawyer served him with court papers on Christmas Eve, although Reed said he was not behind the subpoena, with the case concerned being one brought by American attorney Larry Klayman relating to divisions between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.

Reed was involved in more controversy on Sunday when he took an unplayable penalty drop after his ball got lodged in a tree, with question marks raised over whether it was in fact his ball he had identified by using binoculars.

But McIlroy, considered by some as the PGA Tour's de facto spokesperson since LIV Golf's breakaway, came out on top in scintillating fashion.

"I think mentally today was probably one of the toughest rounds I've had to play, it would have been really easy to let emotions get in the way," he told DP World Tour media.

"I had to really concentrate on focusing on myself, forget who was up there on the leaderboard and I did that really, really well.

"I think I showed a lot of mental strength out there today and something to build on for the rest of the year.

"There's been a ton of positives this year, but also some things to learn from and improve on.

"I'm going to enjoy this, this is probably sweeter than it should be or needs to be but I feel like I've still got some stuff to work on.

"It's a great start to the year and a good foundation to work from."

McIlroy took a three-shot advantage into the final round, but victory could have slipped from his grasp when a tee shot held up close to the water on the 18th.

Yet the 33-year-old kept his cool to set up a 15-foot putt, which he sunk to avoid a play-off.

"Honestly I feel like I got lucky my ball didn't go in the water off the tee shot, it's such an awkward tee shot, driver's too much, three wood's not enough. I tried to hit an easy driver and it came off too hot," McIlroy said.

"I really only had one choice, to lay up and try to get up and down that way. I said yesterday with the two balls in the water on Sunday last year and yesterday, fool me once shame on me, fool me twice… I wasn't going to get fooled a third time."

Rory McIlroy birdied the last hole of a thrilling final round to hold off Patrick Reed and win the Dubai Desert Classic for a third time on Monday.

In a tournament that finished a day later than scheduled due to poor weather last Thursday and Friday, the world number one got himself out of a spot of bother on the 18th to start the year with a maiden Rolex Series victory

American Reed threw a tee in McIlroy's direction at Emirates Golf Club last week after being snubbed for a handshake following a dispute between the pair, but the Northern Irishman held his nerve to avoid throwing away his lead as the tension mounted during the last round.

LIV Golf star Reed was involved in more controversy on Sunday when he took an unplayable penalty drop after his ball got lodged in a tree, with question marks raised over whether it was in fact his ball he had identified by using binoculars.

McIlroy took a three-shot advantage into the final round, but Texan Reed carded a seven-under 65 and birdied the last hole to ramp up the pressure on the four-time major champion.

A tee shot that held up precariously close to the water left McIlroy with work to do at 18 and he had to wait for his second shot while Reed was coming close to an eagle three up in front of him before sinking a short birdie putt.

McIlroy laid up short of the water before showing his class to land his third shot 15 feet from the pin and duly avoided a play-off by draining a brilliant putt for the win.

A closing four-under 68 was enough for the 33-year-old to get the job done, finishing with back-to-back birdies to end the tournament on 19 under – beating Reed by one shot.

McIlroy had made his only bogey of the week at 15, but put that behind him to finish with a flourish following a steady start – adding to the Dubai Desert Classic victories he celebrated in 2009 and 2015.

Reed went out in 32 following three gains and maintained his momentum with an eagle-three at the 10th, then a further two birdies at 11 and 13.

He dropped a shot at 16 and a birdie at the last proved to be in vain as he fell just short.

Lucas Herbert finished strongly with a 66 to take third place, three adrift of McIlroy, with Callum Shinkwin fourth at 15 under and Julien Brun a further stroke back. Ian Poulter double-bogeyed the last and had to settle for joint-sixth along with Thomas Pieters following a closing two-under 70.

Rory McIlroy produced the best round of the day as his 65 took him three shots clear of the rest heading into the final round at the Dubai Desert Classic.

The world number one had not been pleased with his second round as he started Sunday tied for seventh – level with Patrick Reed after their spat earlier in the week – on eight under.

McIlroy excelled in his third round though, starting with four consecutive birdies before producing another four in five of his final six holes.

A bogey on the 18th was the only negative from an otherwise productive day as McIlroy ended on seven under par for the round, and 15 under overall.

"It would be great. I love this golf course. I love this tournament. I've won here a couple of times," the Northern Irishman said after his round.

"This is my first start of the year. I don't think I've ever won in my first start of the year – I had plenty of chances at Abu Dhabi down the road over the years, and never quite got it done.

"So tomorrow is a nice opportunity to try to do something that I've never done before."

English pair Callum Shinkwin and Dan Bradbury are tied for second on 12 under, going round in 67 and 68 respectively.

Reed is among seven players tied for fourth on 11 under after his 69, joining the likes of Ian Poulter, Victor Perez and Adri Arnaus.

After a promising first two rounds, Thomas Pieters could only record a par-score of 72 to end Sunday tied for 11th on 10 under, while Tommy Fleetwood dropped to a tie for 38th on six under after also going round in 72.

World number one Rory McIlroy expressed frustration with his performance at the Dubai Desert Classic, where Thomas Pieters, Michael Thorbjornsen and Richard Bland shared the halfway lead.

The tournament will spill into Monday after adverse weather on the first two days, with Belgian Pieters, Englishman Bland and American amateur Thorbjornsen sharing the lead on 10 under heading into the final two rounds.

McIlroy is tied for seventh place – along with Patrick Reed, after their spat earlier in the week – on eight under.

The Northern Irishman was unhappy with his second round, however, after carding a 70 following his first-round 66.

McIlroy birdied the third and made an eagle putt from 33 feet on the 13th, yet he bogeyed the 10th and could not beat par on any other hole.

"More of the same really," said McIlroy when asked for his thoughts on Saturday's round.

"I think I only hit two fairways. Once you can't hit fairways and the rough is quite thick, it's hard to get any control on your ball, get close to par fours. A little rusty, I need to do a bit of work on it.

"I've chipped and putted it well and got myself around the course okay, been able to post a couple of decent scores and at least have a chance going into the last few days. But definitely more negatives than positives – I need to go and figure it out on the range."

McIlroy was, however, pleased the tournament organisers extended the event through to Monday.

He said: "I'm glad that they've gone to Monday and all the field have the opportunity to play 72 holes. It's such a big event, I think the discrepancy between these big events and the lesser ones, that fourth day could mean a lot to someone for changing the course of their year or their career.

"We can still get to our destinations on Monday night. Thankfully for me, there's two more rounds."

Reed also went round in 70 on Saturday, while Spain's Adri Arnaus, Sweden's Marcus Kinhult and Connor Syme of Scotland stood tied for fourth on nine under par.

Pieters, meanwhile, recovered from a sloppy front nine by having seven birdies after the turn.

American Thorbjornsen carded an eagle and seven birdies as he went round in 64, while Englishman Dan Bradbury registered the best score of the round, a 63, to join McIlroy and Reed on eight under, with Ian Poulter also in the eight-man group on that score.

"It feels good," Thorbjornsen said. "I didn't have the best round yesterday and the day before, felt like I missed a lot of putts out there. I thought I had a pretty good game plan but just stuck to it today. I actually made some putts.

"I enjoy playing professional golf a lot and I'm still an amateur, but just the golf courses that we play, the crowd out there, it's what I'm dreaming of ever since I was five or six years old. It just feels good to be out there."

Rory McIlroy put himself firmly in the mix at the Dubai Desert Classic after a flourish that disguised the "rusty" golf he feared would put him way down the leaderboard.

The lucrative DP World Tour event was again hit by wet weather on Friday, after a six-hour delay on Thursday, and with McIlroy among many in the field yet to begin the second round, organisers decided it would be extended to finish on Monday rather than Sunday.

McIlroy got his work for the day done in the morning at Emirates Golf Club, polishing off an opening round he left in a promising place overnight, having reached two under through 15 holes and given himself a short-range putt at the next that he elected to leave for Friday.

The world number one made that putt, then holed out from 107 yards for eagle at the eighth hole, his 17th, and finished with another birdie to complete a six-under 66 for what was a share of the lead at the time.

McIlroy summed up his performance on Thursday as "honestly not very good", so he was thankful to shoot such a low score.

"I struggled out there most of yesterday," McIlroy said. "I thought did I well to be under par by the end of the day. I fought back after some very sloppy rusty golf over the first 14 holes.

"And then today I came out and I don't really know if anything clicked because I don't think I hit enough shots to know. But it was definitely needed. I would have been happy with anything around 70 the way I played, and then to come in and shoot 66 is quite the bonus."

American Patrick Reed, involved in a pre-tournament spat with McIlroy and alleged to have thrown a tee at his rival, joined the Northern Irishman on six under through the opening 18 holes thanks to a 15-foot eagle putt at the last.

Reed, who missed the cut in Abu Dhabi last week, said: "I'm obviously really happy with the way I played. I felt like last week wasn't really a reflection of all the hard work I've been doing in the off-season.

"To come out this week and feel like I was able to put everything together and to have my mind right on game planning and course management was definitely a plus. I feel like I had full control of the golf ball and made a couple of putts."

Reed and McIlroy will play their second rounds on Saturday, but others began their second circuits before darkness brought an end to Friday's play.

The first-round joint lead was snatched away from Reed and McIlroy by Swedish amateur Ludvig Aberg and Englishman Ian Poulter, who both carded seven-under 65s.

Aberg then stumbled in the early stages of his second round, slipping back to five under through seven holes, but Poulter had a share of the overnight lead on eight under after making birdie at the third, the last hole he completed.

Alongside Poulter was fellow English veteran Richard Bland, who followed a 67 by picking up three shots in the opening four holes of his second round.

Spain's Angel Hidalgo held third place on seven under after he followed a 66 with an early birdie in round two, while South African Louis de Jager joined McIlroy and Reed in a share of fourth position.

Rory McIlroy was tied with rival Patrick Reed for the lead after the delayed conclusion to round one of the Dubai Desert Classic, though the Northern Irishman was not entirely satisfied with his performance.

The build-up to the tournament has been dominated by a spat between world number one McIlroy and LIV Golf defector Reed.

American Reed labelled McIlroy an "immature little child" for blanking him at the practice range and was also alleged to have thrown a tee at McIlroy.

McIlroy said Reed's lawyer served him with court papers on Christmas Eve, although Reed has said he was not behind the subpoena, with the case concerned being one brought by American attorney Larry Klayman relating to divisions between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.

A strong start from both players on a rain-delayed day one raised the possibility of an intriguing pairing over the weekend.

And the chances of that happening were increased with McIlroy – who started on the back nine – closing birdie, eagle, birdie to finish his first round at six under par.

Reed matched that score thanks to a 15-foot eagle at the last.

Asked for his thoughts about how he played in round one, McIlroy said: "Honestly, not very good. I struggled out there most of yesterday. I thought I did well to be under par by the end of the day. I fought back after some very sloppy rusty golf over the first sort of 14 holes.

"And then today I came out and I don't really know if anything clicked because I don't think I hit enough shots to know, but it was definitely needed.

"I would have been happy with anything around 70 the way I played, and then to come in and shoot 66 is quite the bonus."

The highlight for McIlroy was holing out from 114 yards out of the sand at the eighth (his 17th).

"You know, I wouldn't say I'm the best fairway bunker player in the world. The desert is a little nicer, it's a little more packed down, so you get some better lies," he said.

"All I was thinking about was catching it clean. My tendency out of those lies is to hit it a little bit heavy. As soon as I struck it – went down the grip a little bit just to make sure of the strike – I knew it came out really nicely and it was right down the pin.

"Again, anything inside of 20 feet, I would have been happy with, so that was certainly a bonus."

Rory McIlroy has been called an "immature little child" by Patrick Reed.

McIlroy confirmed he purposely ignored Reed at a practice session ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Reed, one of the high-profile players who left the PGA Tour to sign up for the LIV Golf Invitational last year, was alleged to have thrown a tee at McIlroy, who claimed not to have noticed.

The American, who McIlroy said had served him with court papers on Christmas Eve, has denied there was any malicious intent behind that move, as he hit out at the world number one's behaviour.

Reed told reporters: "One of my attorneys filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour based off the fans' perspective.

"Supposedly, he subpoenaed Tiger [Woods] and Rory. You know, the media sits there and acts as if I'm the one that is subpoenaing these guys and, honestly, that's far from the truth – it has nothing to do with me and nothing to do with any of the lawsuits that I'm a part of.

"It was good to see [Rory] again this week, that he's over here supporting [the DP World Tour] again, but it is one of those things.

"If you're going to act like an immature little child, then you might as well be treated like one."

Reed, who won the Masters in 2018, explained what happened when he went to greet McIlroy.

"[McIlroy's caddie] Harry [Diamond] shook my hand and Rory was messing with his TrackMan [golf app], and he just looked up and kind of decided to ignore us.

"Since my tees are Team Aces LIV tees, I flicked him one. It was kind of a funny shot back. Funny how a small, little flick has basically turned into me stabbing him."

McIlroy said the incident was a "storm in a teacup", but also said: "I'm living in reality. I don't know where he’s living. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't expect a hello or a handshake."

Reed is now hoping to go head-to-head with McIlroy out on the course.

"That would be great, but I will tell you this much – there won't be much talking," Reed said.

"Even if I said hello on the first, he won't say anything. I can be as much a gentleman as I can be, [it's] his choice if he doesn't respond."

Rory McIlroy saw no need to defend his actions after he blanked Patrick Reed at a practice session ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic.

Reed is alleged to have thrown a golf tee at McIlroy after the world number one refused to acknowledge him.

McIlroy has stressed he did not see a tee being thrown at him, while Reed denied it.

However, McIlroy explained he has no desire to speak to Reed, who the Northern Irishman has claimed sent him court papers on Christmas Eve.

Reed is one of several high-profile players to have joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series last year, a Saudi-backed breakaway from the PGA Tour, the main tour for which McIlroy has become an unofficial spokesperson over the past 12 months.

"Patrick came up to say hello and I didn't really want him to," McIlroy told reporters in Dubai.

"From my recollection, that was it. I didn't see a tee. I didn't feel a tee. Obviously, someone else saw that.

"But it's definitely a storm in a teacup. I can't believe it's actually turned into a story; it's nothing.

"I was down by my bag, and he came up to me. I was busy working and sort of doing my practice. I didn't feel the need to acknowledge him."

It is unclear if McIlroy will take any further steps, though the 33-year-old added: "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."

McIlroy also suggested Reed must be living in a different world if he believed the four-time major champion would shake his hand.

"I was subpoenaed by his lawyer on Christmas Eve," McIlroy said.

"Trying to have a nice time with my family and someone shows up on your doorstep and delivers that, you're not going to take that well.

"I'm living in reality, I don't know where he's living. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't expect a hello or a handshake."

McIlroy again reiterated his opposition to LIV Golf, saying: "There's no point in just being a mouthpiece when you can't back that up by playing good golf and showing people the rewards people can have out here if they are playing well.

"It's a merit-based system. That's the thing that I've always struggled with: if a five-year-old boy or girl know that they work hard and they shoot the scores, there's a merit-based system in golf all the way through junior golf, amateur golf, all the way up to the professional level, and they can make it to the top levels of the game.

"This is the one thing that's come into the game that has disrupted that. It's not a merit-based system."

Dustin Johnson capped off a huge year by pipping Cameron Smith to clinch victory for the all-American 4 Aces GF at the LIV Golf Miami Team Championship on Sunday.

Johnson nailed a routine final putt of the season to cue the celebrations for his team, featuring Patrick Reed, Lalor Gooch and Pat Perez whom all had solid rounds in Sunday's Championship.

The Aces were crowned the inaugural LIV Golf team champions at Trump National Doral by one shot ahead of Cameron Smith's Punch GC, with Brooks Koepka's Smash GC and Louis Oosthuizen's Stinger GC well back.

The triumph capped a money-spinning season for two-time major winner Johnson, finishing with more than $35 million in earnings.

"It's been amazing," Johnson said. "This week's been incredible. This whole season has gotten better and better and obviously this finale has been unbelievable."

Among the four Aces players, they scored a combined seven-under 281 in the singles stroke-play on Sunday, with Johnson, Reed and Perez all finishing two-under-par, while Gooch was one under, having started the round with three birdies in his first for holes.

Johnson's team edged out Punch for whom Smith carded a round-best seven-under-par 65 with eight birdies. That was offset by Marc Leishman's 74, Wade Ormsby's 73 and Matt Jones' 70 as Punch combined for a six-under 282.

Smith, who won this year's Players' Championship before joining the LIV Tour, went head-to-head with Johnson.

Smash finished 11 strokes behind with a combined four-over 292, with Jason Kokrak their best with a four-under-par 68.

Stinger were a further six shots behind Smash with a combined 10-over 298, despite one-under rounds from Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, with Branden Grace shooting an 80.

Brooks Koepka holds a two-stroke lead of LIV Golf Jeddah after finishing the opening round eight under par in Saudi Arabia.

The four-time major champion made eight birdies in his round of 62 and did not go over par on any hole to head into the weekend ahead of second-placed Charl Schwartzel, while Patrick Reed is tied for third with Hideto Tanihara and Peter Uihlein at three shots off the lead.

The inaugural individual LIV Golf champion Dustin Johnson is T16 on two under par, alongside Open champion and world number two Cameron Smith.

Johnson, who has collected 121 points across the season, struck five birdies, but a double-bogey on the par-three eighth set him back.

Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood fared slightly better at three under, the latter not carding any bogies in his round.

LIV Golf Bangkok winner Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra struggled to back up his performance in Thailand and is T28 at one under par, seven shots back from Koepka. Bryson DeChambeau, meanwhile, only managed a par 70.

After withdrawing from LIV Golf Bangkok with injury, Branden Grace carded a one-over-par round on his return to action.

Shane Lowry clinched victory at the BMW PGA Championship on the final hole at Wentworth, pipping Jon Rahm despite a historic final round from the Spaniard.

Following the suspension of play on Friday due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the tournament was reduced to 54 holes.

Rahm's round of 62 on Sunday gave him the clubhouse lead on 16 under par, and it could have been even lower had he not narrowly missed some birdie attempts early on.

His total of 29 on the back nine, which included two eagles, was the lowest in the tournament's history, despite a bogey on 15.

It looked likely that Lowry would overtake him when the Irishman also reached 16 under with six holes remaining, hitting an eagle on the fourth, and birdies on the seventh, eighth, 10th and 12th.

However, Lowry – the 2019 champion at The Open Championship – went on to par the next five, leaving a nervous wait to see if he could take advantage on the par five 18th.

Lowry did just that after an excellent approach shot that left him with two putts for birdie, which he executed to seal a sixth DP Tour win of his career.

Rory McIlroy finished joint-second with Rahm after carding a final round of 67, while overnight leaders Viktor Hovland and Soren Kjeldsen both slipped to T5 after only being able to go round in 70.

Patrick Reed had set the bar early in the day with his impressive round of 63, before Rahm overtook him, and the American also finished joint-fifth alongside Thomas Detry on 14 under, with Talor Gooch able to earn outright fourth after an eagle at the 18th.

A round of 65 from Lee Westwood saw him climb to T13, where he was joined by world number 443 Matthew Southgate, who carded his second round of 67 in a row.

Henrik Stenson carded a two-under-par 69 to retain his lead after the second round of LIV Golf Bedminster, his first event on the controversial tour.

The Swede – stripped of Europe's Ryder Cup captaincy over his defection from the DP World Tour – showed steely focus on the fairways on Saturday at Trump National Golf Club.

The 2016 Open Championship winner moved clear of first-round co-leader Patrick Reed to top the standings outright at nine under, rallying after a double bogey on his third hole.

Stenson said: "I was hanging in there. I didn't feel I had my best stuff today, certainly a lot less than we played with yesterday."

Former Masters winner Reed slipped to a tie for third with a two-over 73, but he nevertheless retained a share of the lead in the team standings. Reed's 4 Aces GC team-mate Dustin Johnson moved second in the individual standings with a 69 to sit three shots off the lead at six under.

The 4 Aces advantage was cemented by a super round from Talor Gooch, who carded a best-of-the-day 64 to join Reed on five under through 36 holes, with Carlos Ortiz on the same mark.

It proved a miserable day at the office for Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau as they posted 73 and 74 respectively, with DeChambeau carding six bogeys in his round. He sits tied for 28th, with Mickelson in a share of 40th place on six over – a full 15 shots behind Stenson.

New signing Henrik Stenson is tied for the lead after the first round of LIV Golf Bedminster, shooting a seven-under 64 in his first event since committing to the controversial tour.

Stenson – who was stripped of his position as Ryder Cup captain due to his decision to leave the PGA Tour – collected eight birdies and one bogey, and helped his team Majesticks GC to second in the team standings at 10 under.

Tied for the individual lead is Patrick Reed, who also leads the team standings by one stroke along with his 4 Aces GC teammates Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez and Talor Gooch.

Alone in third place is Thailand's 23-year-old Phachara Khongwatmai at five under, and he is one stroke ahead of both Johnson and Carlos Ortiz, rounding out the top-five.

Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Brooks Koepka and Charles Howell III are all one shot further back at three under, while Lee Westwood headlines the group at two under, and Sergio Garcia is in the logjam at one under.

Bryson DeChambeau finished at even par after a late double-bogey, Louis Oosthuizen is at two over after posting a seven on the par-three seventh hole, and there are only three players below Phil Mickelson after he struggled to four over with five bogeys and one birdie.

Branden Grace posted a seven-under 65 in the final round on Saturday, leapfrogging Dustin Johnson and Carlos Ortiz to win LIV Golf Portland.

Two shots behind the co-leaders at the start of the third round, Grace reeled off four birdies in the final six holes, including three consecutive birdies between 15 and 17, to take out the tournament.

With the victory, the South African follows up compatriot Charl Schwartel's win in London at LIV Golf's inaugural event in June.

The South African quartet that makes up Stinger GC - Grace, Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Hennie du Plessis – could only manage second in the team standings, though, with Johnson's 4 Aces GC taking out first.

"What a day. It's been like this the whole day, the crowd came out and I played flawless golf," Grace said afterwards. "I played, really, really well when I needed to do something special. It came up and I managed to pull it off, but what a great day.

"I knew the back nine, I had to kind of dig deep. Carlos was playing great golf, DJ was coming back and I think, one of the big things for me today was the birdie on 13.

"Then I thought, 'Now, I'm in with it.' Obviously, the finish was just amazing."  

Amid the news former Ryder Cup player Paul Casey defected from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed breakaway competition, Grace finished the tournament on 13-under, two strokes ahead of Ortiz who posted a three-under 69 on Saturday.

They were followed by 2020 Masters winner Johnson and another recent defector in Patrick Reed, who finished on nine-under after 54 holes.

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson finished tied for 40th this week with a 54-hole score of 10-over. Through two LIV Golf events, Mickelson is a combined 20-over par.

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