Rory McIlroy Says He Won’t Play Golf With Donald Trump Again After COVID-19 Response
McIlroy last played golf with Trump three years ago, and when he was asked about whether or not he would ever golf with Trump again, McIlroy said that he probably would not. “I don’t know if he’d want to play with me again after what I just said. I know it’s very self-serving of me to say ‘No’ and if I don’t, then it means then I’m not putting myself in position to be put under scrutiny and that I’m avoiding that. But I probably wouldn’t, no,” he told the McKellar Golf podcast this week.
When McIlroy last played with Trump back in February 2017, he received a lot of scrutiny for it and at the WGC-Mexico Championship a couple of weeks after he had played with Trump, McIlroy commented on some of the backlash he had received. “I was a little bit taken aback by the blow-back I received, but I get why. I get the divisive rhetoric and everything that was said. It’s a tough place to be in, it’s a tough position. But again, I was just doing what I felt was respectful and the president of the United States phones you up and wants to play golf with you, you know, I wasn’t going to say no.”
On the McKellar podcast, McIlroy was very open about the time he played with Trump, saying that he enjoyed his time, but acknowledged that just because he had a nice time playing with the president, doesn’t mean he shares the same beliefs as Trump. “I’ll sit here and say that the day that I did spend with him and others was very enjoyable. He’s very charismatic. He was nice to everyone. It didn’t matter whether you were me or the guys in the cart barn or the pro at the golf club. … So I will sit here and say that the day I had with him I enjoyed but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything. Or, in fact, anything that he says,” he said.
McIlroy is scheduled to play in TaylorMade’s “Driving Relief” charity skins golf event alongside Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff this weekend where they will raise money for coronavirus relief.