Rory McIlroy describes the "surreal experience" of playing with Donald Trump
The Hollywood golfer is competing in Mexico this week11:02 Wednesday 1 March 2017, 11:02 1 Mar 2017
Rory McIlroy's return to golf continues to be overshadowed by his decision to play a round of golf with US President Donald Trump.
The four-time major winner is competing in the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec just outside Mexico City.
McIlroy has not competed competitively since a second-place finish at the SA Open. A stress fracture to his ribs meant the 27-year-old has not swung a club in anger in nearly two months.
Ahead of competing in Mexico City for the first time, McIlroy continued to answer questions about his round with President Trump last month. He was unrepentant about his decision to play a round with the golf fanatic.
"If it had been Obama, I would have went to play. I've played golf with President Clinton, I've spent time with President Bush. I've been around quite a few presidents before, and again, like putting beliefs and whatever to one side, I just wanted to have an experience that I mightn't ever get, like play golf with a sitting president.
"Since the TOUR announced the move to Mexico City I was excited about it" - Rory Mcilroy pic.twitter.com/AOoeCRerw6— Mexico Championship (@WGCMexico) February 28, 2017
"We know how the campaign went and how divisive it was. We knew all that, and we knew - but I mean, I guess I just approached it, as I said in my statement, a round of golf, and more for putting all - anyone's beliefs or politics or whatever, just put that to one side for a minute.
"Like to go there and see 30 Secret Service and 30 cops and snipers in the trees, it's just - I mean, it was just a surreal experience for me to see something like that. That was part of the reason I wanted to go and play."
McIlroy rode around with Trump in a golf cart as he continued to recover from the rib injury. He added that the round was very relaxed, with both men picking up the ball "a few times".
Numerous domestic commentators, and those in America, said McIlroy made the wrong decision to play with Trump, and he admitted he was surprised by the reaction in Ireland.
"I was a little bit taken aback by the blow-back I received but I get why. I get the divisive rhetoric and everything that was said. It's a tough place to be in, it's a tough position. Maybe if I look back on it, I put myself in a position where I was going to get that from either side one way or the other.
"I was just doing what I felt was respectful and the president of the United States phones you up and wants to play golf with you, you know, I wasn't going to say no, like I don't agree with everything that he says."
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