Rory McIlroy surprised by criticism after round with US president Trump

World number three Rory McIlroy says he was “taken aback” by the extent of the criticism he received for playing golf with US President Donald Trump. McIlroy, who returns to the PGA Tour in Mexico this week after nearly two months out with a rib injury, says he was called “a fascist and a bigot”. McIlroy also met Tiger Woods, and said the American was “in a good place”.

It’s not as if we were talking foreign policy out there. We were talking golf.

Rory McIlroy

Asked about his round with Trump at the president’s Trump International course in Florida last week, he said: “I was just doing what I felt was respectful. "The president of the United States phones you up and wants to play golf with you. I wasn’t going to say no. I don’t agree with everything he says but it is what it is. I’m not an American. I can’t vote. Even if I could vote I don’t think I would have.” McIlroy said he had a “good time” and seeing “30 secret service and 30 cops and snipers in the trees” was “a surreal experience”.