Golf superstar Rory McIlroy has revealed he finds Donald Trump fascinating, and described ‘the whole circus as intriguing’.
The current world number three was invited to play a round alongside the new President at Trump International in Florida over the weekend.
McIlroy happily accepted the invite, and refused to be drawn on his own political views regarding the controversial 45th president.
However, he admitted his intrigue in Trump’s rise to power, and how a successful businessman could succeed in politics.
McIlroy told the Guardian: “I really got into it once Trump ran because I knew him a little bit but at the same time I was intrigued how a successful businessman could transition into running for the highest office in the land.
“It is a totally different process from the UK. He obviously came at it from a completely different angle.
“I’ve said it to the man himself; on a Tuesday night at a tournament, if there was a live (political) debate, I would get room service, stick on CNN and just watch. It was pure entertainment, even if you didn’t understand politics it was this complete phenomenon.
“Something like this probably won’t happen again in our lifetime. I’m very attuned to it, I watch a lot of news. You can’t avoid it. I had no interest in politics until a couple of years ago; now I can’t seem to get away from it.
Trump has polarised some high profile sports stars with some of his contentious comments both before and after he took office.
Martellus Bennett is one of several New England Patriots players who have said they will not be attending the Super Bowl celebration at the White House.
However, McIlroy explained that his nationality means he can take an interest in US politics without being directly involved.
“I feel like I’ve stayed unpolitical in terms of Northern Ireland and all that goes on there but because I’m not an American I don’t feel a real part of it; I’m just interested by the phenomenon of it all. I don’t really care about the policies. The whole circus, this big show is intriguing to watch.”
The 27-year-old also spoke about his boyhood hero Tiger Woods, and how he feels sorry for him as he struggles to regain his form following a series of injuries.
McIlroy said: “I never thought I would say this but I felt sorry for him.
“I just felt bad for the guy that his body won’t allow him to do what he wants to do. I can’t imagine anything so debilitating where you can’t even stand up to do a press conference.
“Tiger was a child star, he was used to being out there winning golf tournaments since he was 10. I know that’s not what he values his life around but it must be hard to still want to do that but have it taken away because you can’t physically get to where you want to be. Obviously there is a physical battle there but there has to be a mental struggle as well.
“I’m glad that he has other things in his life. He has his kids and is so committed to them. If he didn’t have that it would be so hard. He is still young, he has another half of his life to live. Golf is minuscule compared to watching your kids grow up. That’s where my priority would be now.”