Lambasted as a “fascist” and a “bigot” for going 18 holes with Trump a few years ago, the four-time major winner explained Thursday why he’ll likely avoid another round with the president. He also ripped Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The world’s top-ranked golfer said on the McKellar Golf Podcast that he was “guilty by association” for the “very enjoyable” day he spent hanging out with the president. He added that it would probably be the last time he plays with Trump “out of choice.”
McIlroy had plenty to say on Trump’s handling of the outbreak.
“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 they we administer the most tests in world like it is a contest — there’s some stuff that’s just terrible,’’ McIlroy said. “It’s not the way a leader should act. And there is a sort of diplomacy that you need to show, and I just don’t think he’s showing that — especially in these times.’’
Asked if he’d ever play with Trump again, McIlroy replied:
“I don’t know if he’d want to play with me again after what I just said. ... But I probably wouldn’t, no.”
McIlroy allowed that Trump was charismatic and “nice to everyone” when they played their round in Febuary 2017 at Trump International Golf Club in Florida.
“But that doesn’t mean that I agree with everything — or in fact anything — that he says,’’ he said on the podcast.
McIlroy is competing in a televised COVID-19 relief charity match with Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff on Sunday.
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