PGA Tour

McIlroy says round with Trump 'not endorsement'

2017-02-25 06:23
Rory McIlroy (Getty)

London - Former world number one Rory McIlroy hit back at critics on Friday saying his decision to play a round with US President Donald Trump "wasn't an endorsement nor a political statement of any kind".

Trump is a keen golfer and McIlroy, a four-time major winner, accepted an offer from the commander-in-chief to join him for a round at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida last weekend.

On Friday he posted a statement on Twitter responding to suggestions he had allied himself with the controversial president.

"I don't agree with everything my friends or family say or do, but I still play golf with them," McIlroy wrote. "Last week, I was invited to play golf with the President of the United States. Whether you respect the person who holds that position or not, you respect the office that he holds.

"This wasn't an endorsement nor a political statement of any kind," McIlroy wrote. "It was, quite simply, a round of golf. Golf was our common ground, nothing else.

"I've travelled all over the world and have been fortunate enough to befriend people from many different countries, beliefs and cultures. To be called a fascist and a bigot by some people because I spent some time in someone's company is just ridiculous."

McIlroy's statement came after the Northern Ireland golfer told the Guardian that he had been intrigued by Trump's rise.

"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," McIlroy told the publication Friday.

"It is a totally different process from the UK. He obviously came at it from a completely different angle.

"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," he said.

"I don't really care about the policies. The whole circus, this big show is intriguing to watch."

Read more on:    rory mcilroy  |  golf
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