Trump backlash gives McIlroy pause for thought
Rory McIlroy admits he would "think twice" before agreeing to another round of golf with United States President Donald Trump following the backlash he has received.
McIlroy accepted an invitation to play with the President in February and later defended his decision after claiming he had been branded "a fascist and a bigot".
That did not prevent the four-time major winner from saying it was "horrendous" that it took two ballots for the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which owns and runs Muirfield, to vote in favour of admitting women members.
And in his pre-tournament press conference ahead of the Masters, t he 27-year-old was asked to explain the difference between the HCEG and President Trump, who made lewd comments about women.
"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," McIlroy said. "W e were never in a day and age where we could say those things, but some thought it was appropriate.
"B ut whenever an invitation or a request comes my way, I don't want to say I jump at the chance but at the same time, to see the Secret Service, to see the scene, that's really what I was going for.
"There was not one bit of politics discussed in that round of golf. He was more interested in talking about the grass that he just put on the greens.
"I felt I would have been making more of a statement if I had turned it down. 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."