Rory McIlroy Won’t Golf With Trump Again After Ripping President’s Leadership

"It's not the way a leader should act," McIlroy said of Trump

President Donald Trump speaks with golfer Rory McIlroy in 2016
Donald Trump speaks with golfer Rory McIlroy in 2016.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / May 15, 2020 1:57 pm

Rory McIlroy is just one of many professional golfers who have hit the links with President Trump in the past.

But, unlike Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka or Jack Nicklaus, McIlroy has no shot at playing golf with the president in the future after criticizing Trump’s leadership throughout the pandemic during an appearance on the McKellar Golf Podcast.

“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 we’re administering the most tests in the world like it is a contest — there’s something that just is terrible,” McIlroy said. “It’s not the way a leader should act. There’s a sort of diplomacy that you need to have, and I don’t think he’s showing that — especially in these times.”

McIlroy also told the podcast he’d been invited to play with Trump again but declined the offer “out of choice” despite the president being “nice and personable” when they played the first time.

“That doesn’t mean that I agree with everything — or in fact anything — that he says,” McIlroy told the podcast.

A native of Northern Ireland, No.1-ranked McIlroy and former No. 1 Dustin Johnson will take on Oklahoma State alumni Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in the TaylorMade Driving Relief at Seminole Golf Club on Sunday in Juno Beach.

NBC and Sky Sports will televise the spectator-free skins match from 2-6 p.m.

McIlroy and Johnson are heavily favored.

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