Rory McIlroy is returning to golf in a charity Skins game in Florida

Rory McIlroy planning to let his clubs do the talking as he gears up for golf’s return after spat with Donald Trump – claiming he would NEVER play another round with the president

  • Rory Mcllroy will be returning to golf in a charity Skins game in Florida
  • In the last fortnight, Mcllroy has played a lot with Open champion Shane Lowry 
  • He also accused the US president of turning coronavirus pandemic into a ‘rally’
  • McIlroy has been heavily criticised for playing golf with Trump back in 2017
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Rory McIlroy will come out swinging once again today, albeit in more conventional fashion.

A day after making headlines with his forthright condemnation of US President Donald Trump, the world No 1 is the main attraction in a charity Skins game in Florida that signals the return of live golf action.

A long 65 days after his wonderful run of seven consecutive top seven finishes was interrupted by the world slipping from its axis, McIlroy will partner Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and American newcomer Matthew Wolff in a match sponsored by TaylorMade that will raise millions for Covid-19 relief.

Rory McIlroy will let his clubs do the talking as he returns to golf in a charity game in Florida

The news comes after he made headlines with his criticism of US President Donald Trump

One novelty will be the sight of all players carrying their own bags, after McIlroy rejected the idea of motoring around in a cart.

‘This is the first time we’ll be showcasing the game and I thought it would be a good way to show golf is the perfect sport when it comes to social distancing and providing healthy exercise,’ he said. ‘It wouldn’t have been a good image to see the four of us jumping on and off carts.’

It was the sort of thoughtful comment that punctuated a 75-minute interview McIlroy did with the McKellar golf podcast, which got rather lost alongside his comments about Trump, including the incendiary line about the President’s handling of the pandemic. McIlroy said: ‘It’s not the way a leader should act.’

Thankfully, for once, Trump did not get an itchy Twitter finger and resisted replying.

For golf geeks, the Seminole venue will provide as much intrigue as the play. It’s known as the Augusta National of Florida.

McIlroy recevied some heavy criticism for playing golf with Trump back in 2017

‘It’s just a pure golf course, with no country club trappings,’ said McIlroy, who lives less than an hour’s drive away. ‘There’s plenty of room off the tee but you have to be accurate with your approach shots. I love the club’s whole philosophy. There’s a sign by the first tee that says, ‘If you play good, play fast. And if you play bad, play faster’.’

McIlroy did not touch a club for the first seven weeks of his break, preferring a morning swim instead. In the last fortnight, he has played a lot with Open champion Shane Lowry, who decided to see out the pandemic in Florida rather than travel home to Ireland. ‘I prefer trying to take Shane’s money to practising,’ said McIlroy.

The format will see each golfer play his own ball, with the leading score on each team counting. Each side will start with $500,000, with holes 1-6 worth $50,000, before doubling for holes 7-16. The 17th hole will be worth $200,000 and the 18th a mammoth $500,000. All the money will benefit two coronavirus-related charities.

A week today, there will be another charity game involving Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, before the PGA Tour resumes on June 11 in Texas.

McIlroy has committed to each of the first three events.

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