Rory McIlroy: NI golfer criticizes US President Donald Trump for treating the coronavirus crisis

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McIlroy returned to the number one position in the world for the first time in five years in February

Rory McIlroy has criticized US President Donald Trump for addressing the coronavirus crisis.

The golfer from Northern Ireland said the president was attempting to "politicize" the pandemic, which has resulted in more than 86,000 deaths in America.

McIlroy was criticized for playing golf with Trump at his International Golf Club in Florida in 2017.

"We're in the middle of something that's pretty serious right now," McIlroy told the McKellar Golf Podcast.

"He's trying to politicize it and turn it into a campaign collection, saying that [the US] does most of the tests in the world like it's a competition.

" It's just not the way a leader has to act and there's a bit of diplomacy to show, and I just don't think he showed that, especially in these times. "

While admitting he enjoys giving up his eighteen holes with the President three years ago, the world's number one said it was not something he would do again.

Donald Trump became president in 2017

"I don't know if he wants to play with me again after what I just said," he continued.

"I know it is very self-serving that I say 'no' and, if I don't, it means I'm not putting myself in the position to be scrutinized taken and avoid it, but I probably wouldn't do it, no.

"The day I spent with him and others was a lot of fun. He is very charismatic and was nice to everyone. He obviously has something or he wouldn't be in the White House.

"That doesn't mean I agree with everything – or really everything – what he says."

McIlroy will lead the return of golf after a two-month hiatus from a TV charity game in Florida on Sunday when he will play Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Woolfe in a $ 4 million game for the benefit of charities Covid-19.

With the support of the PGA Tour, this will be seen as a first tentative step since the coronavirus blockage, without professional golf since the Players Championship was abandoned after one round on March 12.

"For us to go out and play a golf game, it's great that we can do that, bring some entertainment to quite a few people, but also help in some way", McIlroy told the PGA Tour website.

"What we do is great, it's a very small piece of it all, but I'm just glad that I can somehow help and bring joy to people, I think, if they haven't had anything to look forward to in a few months. "

McIlroy also said he would participate in all three PGA Tour events in June when the season resumes.

The competition returns behind closed doors at the Charles Schwab Colonial event in Texas on June 11.

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