Sunday 21 January 2018

'I literally can't believe McIlroy has done this' - Prominent golf journalist hits out at Rory's 18 holes with Donald Trump

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Rory McIlroy's choice of playing partner over the weekend has proved polarising, with one top golf journalist saying he 'can't believe' the four-time Major champion opted for a round with US President Donald Trump.

Trump has long been a big figure in the game of golf, owning a string of courses in America which have hosted PGA events, and also has a number of high-profile supporters on tour.

While McIlroy's decision wouldn't cause much unease among his fellow professionals in America, many others have been left wondering why the Northern Irishman decided to play with the controversial politician.

Speaking on The Last Word with Matt Cooper yesterday on Today FM, ex-Guardian golf correspondent Lawrence Donegan came out strongly against McIlroy's decision.

"The problem is that Rory is a beloved figure, probably the most beloved figure in his sport," he said.

"He is apparently appealing to a younger audience, he is very vocal about appealing to a younger audience. It basically reinforces old stereotypes."

"I literally can't believe that McIlroy has done this," he continued.

"You must understand the symbolism. He is very much about growing the sport. He doesn't talk to the old media, he doesn't talk to guys like me anymore, he talks to the new media. Good on him, but to then go and do this is the very opposite to what his intentions are. It is literally unbelievable."

Also on the show was sports journalist Ewan MacKenna, who echoed Donegan's sentiments.

"As Lawrence said, you don't turn down a round of golf with the American president but you do turn down a round of golf with this American president," he said.

"This is an unprecedented time and an unprecedented person."

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