McIl­roy re­mains crit­i­cal of the years women were de­nied club mem­ber­ship

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TORONTO en were de­nied mem­ber­ship and did not sound like he would be chang­ing his opin­ion any­time soon.

“We’ll go back there for The O p e n C h a m p ion­ship at some point, and I won’t be hav­ing many cups of tea with the m e m b e r s a f t e rwards,” McIl­roy, 27, said as he pre­pared for yesterday’s open­ing round of the Arnold Palmer In­vi­ta­tional in Or­lando.

Muir­field had a male-only mem­ber­ship pol­icy since the Honourable Com­pany of Ed­in­burgh Golfers, which con­trols the course, was founded in 1744. Women are al­lowed to play there, but an ini­tial bal­lot to al­low women mem­bers failed in May last year when only 64 per cent voted in favour.

But cen­turies of dis­crim­i­na­tion ended when the nec­es­sary twothirds ma­jor­ity had been reached, with 80.2 per cent of mem­bers vot­ing in favour of change on Tues­day.

The R&A, the body that or­gan­ises The Open, then de­clared Muir­field back on its list of el­i­gi­ble cour­ses, hav­ing said last year it would not stage the tour­na­ment at a venue that did not ad­mit fe­male mem­bers.

“I still think that it got to the stage, this stage, is hor­ren­dous,” said McIl­roy, a four-time ma­jor win­ner who won the 2014 Bri­tish Open at Royal Liv- er­pool.

“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

Ev­ery time I go to Muir­field now I won’t have a great taste in my mouth.” RORY McIL­ROY

World No 3

won’t have a great taste in my mouth.”

Muir­field has hosted the Open 16 times, most re­cently in 2013 when it was won by Amer­i­can Phil Mick­el­son. Reuters


Rory McIl­roy trains on Wed­nes­day prior to the Arnold Palmer In­vi­ta­tional in Or­lando.

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