PALM BEACH — The White House was tight-lipped about President Donald Trump‘s golf outing on Sunday, but professional golfer Rory McIlroy wasn’t so reluctant.
McIlroy, who is coming back from a stress fracture in his rib, told the NoLayingUp.com golf blog that he played 18 holes with the president, as well as Nick Mullen of International Sports Management and Trump friend Rich Levine.
“He probably shot around 80. He’s a decent player for a guy in his 70’s!” McIlroy said of Trump, who turned 70 on June 14.
While Trump was vying for the Republican nomination last year, McIlroy told The Palm Beach Post he wasn’t enthusiastic about the presidential race.
“I can’t vote and if I were to vote I’m not sure I would want to vote,” said McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland and has a house in Palm Beach Gardens.
On Sunday, Trump and McIlroy also posed for a picture with former New York Yankee Paul O’Neill and Clear Sports CEO Garry Singer, who weren’t part of their playing group.
During his three weekend visits to Mar-a-Lago this month, Trump has made five visits of four hours or longer to Trump International and has been spotted in a golf shirt and hat on some of them. But the White House usually does not confirm whether Trump is golfing or who he’s playing with.
On Sunday, for instance, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked by a reporter if Trump had played golf when he spent more than four hours at the club Saturday and more than five hours there Sunday.
“I know he played a couple of holes this morning, but I’m not going to disclose any of the others that were there,” Huckabee said. As for Saturday, she said, “I do believe he played a couple of holes yesterday…I don’t think it was a whole round.”
She issued a new statement today in response to questions about the McIlroy report.
“As stated yesterday the President played golf,” Sanders said. “He intended to play a few holes and decided to play longer. He also had a full day of meetings, calls and interviews for the new NSA (national security adviser), which he is continuing today before returning to Washington, D.C. tonight.”
Aside from the mystery-shrouded trips to Trump International, Trump also golfed Feb. 11 with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and two-time U.S. Open champ Ernie Els at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter.
McIlroy dropped out of this week’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens because of stress fractures in his ribs. He won the tournament in 2012.