Rory McIlroy said he would think twice again about playing golf with President Trump after the backlash he faced the first time. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
April 10 (UPI) -- Rory McIlroy was raised Roman Catholic in Holywood, Northern Ireland, so he knows about politics and social issues.
McIlroy said he probably never will play golf in the Olympic Games because Northern Ireland does not have a team, so he must decide between Ireland or Great Britain since his country is under the British Crown.
Every time he has indicated he might play for one or the other, he has heard backlash from the other side, so he figures it's simply not worth it.
McIlroy spoke out again a few weeks ago when the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers voted to accept women members for the first time so it could get Muirfield Golf Club back into the rotation for the Open Championship.
When asked about it, McIlroy basically wondered why it took them so long to accept women as equals.
That led to him being asked before the Masters about how he could accept an invitation to play golf with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida, given some of Trump's statements about women.
McIlroy already had gotten plenty of negative feedback for the golf outing on social media and it has put him on his heels.
"Would I do it again?" he said of his decision to play with President Trump. "After the sort of backlash I received, I'd think twice about it. ... I've spent time in President Trump's company before, and that does not mean that I agree with everything that he says. Actually, the opposite."
McIlroy said he accepted the invitation out of respect for the office of the President.
He is a visitor in this country, after all.
"Whenever an invitation or a request comes my way, I don't want to say I jump at the chance, but at the same time, you know, to see the Secret Service, to see the scene, I mean, that's really what I was going for," he explained. "I mean, there was not one bit of politics discussed in that round of golf. He was more interested talking about the grass that he just put on the greens.
"But, yeah, look, it's a difficult one. I felt I would have been making more of a statement if I had turned it down. It's not a tough place to be put in, but it was a round of golf and nothing more."
McIlroy always has been open and honest with the media and hopefully that will not change.