Rory McIlroy responds to backlash after playing golf with President Trump

Rory McIlroy reacts to his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the South African Open on Jan. 15.
(Warren Little / Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy probably made himself one of the least popular golfers last week after playing a round with President Trump. The backlash he received on social media confirms it.

The amount of ridicule he received pestered him so much that he released a statement on Twitter explaining why he played golf with Trump.


McIlroy recently told the Guardian that he’s been “massively” interested in U.S. politics.

“I really got into it once Trump ran because I knew him a little bit, but at the same time, I was intrigued how a successful businessman could transition into running for the highest office in the land,” he said. “It is a totally different process from the UK. He obviously came at it from a completely different angle.

“I’ve said it to the man himself; on a Tuesday night at a tournament, if there was a live [political] debate, I would get room service, stick on CNN and just watch. It was pure entertainment, even if you didn’t understand politics, it was this complete phenomenon.

“Something like this probably won’t happen again in our lifetime. I’m very attuned to it; I watch a lot of news. You can’t avoid it. I had no interest in politics until a couple of years ago; now I can’t seem to get away from it.”

Trump is making a habit of inviting big-name golfers to play a round with him. Tiger Woods and Lexi Thompson are among those who have played with the president at his golf course in Florida.


Twitter: @edmgonzalez