Rory McIlroy, for one, isn’t ready to applaud Muirfield for finally caving to the public pressure to admit women as members.
For Rory McIlroy, speaking at Bay Hill ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the decision was too long in coming.
“In this day and age, where you’ve got women that are the leaders of certain industries and women that are heads of state, and not to be able to join a golf course? I mean, it’s obscene. Like it’s ridiculous. So they sort of saw sense.”
A former Champion Golfer of the Year and native of the UK, McIlroy has every incentive to play nice with the vaunted venues of the rota. He was having none of it, however, making it clear he isn’t going to be cordial with the membership next time The Open comes to Muirfield.
“And yeah, we’ll go back and we’ll play The Open Championship, because they will let women members in, but every time I go to Muirfield now I won’t have a great taste in my mouth.”
The club’s initial vote to stay the course and remain male-only and the footdragging toward a second vote to admit women even in the face of losing The Open, is what really set McIlroy’s teeth on edge. As it did for many others. While he realizes that the course is now back on the rota, and that he will most likely attend the next time it hosts, he won’t be happy about it.
“It’s horrendous, I mean, I just don’t, I don’t get it. So anyway, look, we’ll go back there for The Open Championship at some point, and I won’t be having many cups of tea with the members afterwards.”
McIlroy also voiced his displeasure with the fact that nearly 20 percent of the Honourable Company, 123 members, voted against admitting women on the second ballot, an important point to remember for those thinking the club has had some sort of epiphany. It was pressure from the media and exclusion from The Open rota, that admitted members to Muirfield, not common decency. If that were the case, women would have been voted in the first time around.
Of course, there may be another reason Rory has a bad taste in mouth regarding Muirfield: He missed the cut in 2013 the last time The Open was contested there. He probably didn’t have tea with them after that round either.