Rory McIlroy Criticizes The President, Wouldn’t Play Golf With Him Again

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy is used to taking big swings on the golf course throughout his career, but now he is saving his biggest one for the President.

The World’s No. 1 Golfer received a lot of criticism for hitting the greens with President Donald Trump a month after the presidential inauguration in February 2017, and even though he defended his actions at the time, he doesn’t plan on ever letting that happen again.

“This wasn’t an endorsement nor a political statement of any kind. It was, quite simply, a round of golf. Golf was our common ground, nothing else,” he said.

Three years later and he’s now ripping the President’s leadership and politicization of the COVID-19 crisis during a spot on the McKellar Golf Podcast.

“Most people that he came across that day he was cordial to, he was nice and personable,” McIlroy says. “That was my only interaction with him the day I had with him.”

“But, that doesn’t mean that I agree with everything — or in fact, anything — that he says.”

“We’re in the midst of something that’s pretty serious right now and the fact that he’s trying to politicize it and make it a campaign rally and say we’re administering the most tests in the world like it is a contest — there’s something that just is terrible,” McIlroy says.

“It’s not the way a leader should act. There’s a sort of diplomacy that you need to have, and I don’t think he’s showing that … especially in these times.”

While he says he wouldn’t golf with Trump again if given the chance, he admits he probably won’t get another opportunity.

“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 I’m not putting myself in position to be put under scrutiny and that I’m avoiding that.

“But I probably wouldn’t, no.”

The PGA Tour is currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 crisis.