Rory McIlroy criticises US President Donald Trump for politicising coronavirus response, wouldn't play golf with him again

McIlroy faced fierce criticism for playing with Trump shortly after the Republican president’s inauguration in 2017, but said the interaction was not an endorsement.

Reuters May 16, 2020 09:49:12 IST
Rory McIlroy criticises US President Donald Trump for politicising coronavirus response, wouldn't play golf with him again

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy criticized US President Donald Trump for his response to the coronavirus outbreak, and said it was unlikely the pair would meet for another round of golf.

Rory McIlroy criticises US President Donald Trump for politicising <span class=coronavirus response wouldnt play golf with him again" width="380" height="285" />

Rory McIlroy is slated to play three PGA Tour events when golf resumes from a pandemic forced break. AP

"We're in the midst of something that's pretty serious right now," McIlroy told the McKellar Golf Podcast, "The fact that he's trying to politicise it and make it a campaign rally and say that we administer the most tests in the world, like it's a contest - there's some stuff that just is terrible.

“It’s not the way a leader should act,” said McIlroy, who has won the US Open and British Open as well as two PGA Championship titles.

The world’s top-ranked golfer faced fierce criticism for playing with Trump shortly after the Republican president’s inauguration in 2017, but said the interaction was not an endorsement.

“The day that I did spend with him and others was very enjoyable,” said McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland. “That doesn’t mean that I agree with everything or, in fact, anything that he says.”

Trump has played with several current and former pro golfers, including Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, 2016 US Open winner Dustin Johnson and 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas.

“I don’t know if he would want to play with me again after what I just said,” said McIlroy. “I probably wouldn’t again.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

McIlroy, 31, is set to compete in a two-on-two, $3 million charity skins match on Sunday to benefit COVID-19 relief, teaming up with Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff.

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