Rory McIlroy had some pointed criticism for the members of Muirfield golf club in Scotland after they voted in May 2016 to continue denying female members and again after they voted to allow them in March.
He said it was “horrendous” that the members waited so long to admit females under the pressure of being taken off the British Open rota, and said the next time he plays an Open at the course he “won’t be having many cups of tea with the members afterward.”
The Northern Irishman, in turn, was criticized by many, particularly on social media, after he played a round of golf in February with United States President Donald Trump.
His detractors cited Trump’s ridicule of a handicapped man during a campaign rally and boasts of sexually assaulting women in a taped conversation on an Entertainment Tonight bus.
In light of the criticism, McIlroy said Tuesday at Augusta National Golf Club that he would think twice about playing with Trump if given the opportunity again.
“I've spent time in President Trump's company before, and that does not mean that I agree with everything that he says. Actually the opposite. … We were never in a day and age where we could say those things, but some thought it was appropriate.
“But whenever an invitation or a request comes that way, I don't want to say I jump at the chance, but at the same time, you know, to see the Secret Service, to see the scene, I mean that's really what I was going for. I mean there was not one bit of politics discussed in that round of golf. He was more interested talking about the grass that he just put on the greens.
“But, yeah, look, it's a difficult one. I felt I would have been making more of a statement if I had turned it down. It was not a tough place to be put in, but it was a round of golf and nothing more. Would I do it again? After the sort of backlash I received, I'd think twice about it.”