ORLANDO -- The last time Rory McIlroy played Muirfield he shot 79-75 to miss the cut at the 2013 Open Championship.
That has little to do with his disdain for the club, even after it was announced on Tuesday that women would finally be allowed to become members at the East Lothian course.
“In this day and age, where you’ve got women that are like the leaders of certain industries and women that are heads of state and not to be able to join a golf course?” McIlroy said Wednesday from Bay Hill. “I mean, it’s obscene. Like it’s ridiculous.”
Not more than 15 minutes after the vote from the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers—498 votes in favor of admitting women to 123 against, or a roughly 80-20 split—was released, the R&A announced that Muirfield was back in the rotation for the Open after having been removed following a first ballot over the gender issue last May that narrowly missed achieving the necessary two-thirds vote.
Still, in the eyes of the 27-year-old Northern Irishman, who arrived at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational fresh off 27 holes at Augusta National on Sunday in preparation for next month’s Masters, the decision was one that was long overdue.
“I still think that it got to the stage, this stage, is horrendous,” said McIlroy, the 2014 Open Championship winner at Royal Liverpool and a four-time major winner. “And yeah, I mean, 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.
“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.”