Rory McIlroy has praised Donald Trump’s golf skills after they played a round at the Trump International course in Florida.
The four-time major tournament winner teed off with the US President on Sunday and rode in the cart for all 18 holes, despite nursing a rib injury.
He told No Laying Up: “He’s a decent player for a guy in his 70s.”
— ClearSports (@ClearSportsLLC) February 19, 2017
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee said on Monday that Mr Trump “intended to play a few holes and decided to play longer”.
She added: “He also had a full day of meetings, calls and interviews for the new [National Security Adviser], which he is continuing today before returning to Washington, DC tonight.”
The Northern Irish star came in for criticism after the meeting.
One Twitter user said: “There’s a white nationalist running the White House. Any normalising of that is appeasement pure and simple.”
And another added: “You made a terrible blunder hanging around with this bozo.”
— Chris Curran (@ChrisCurran_IRE) February 21, 2017
Mr Trump has also played golf with Tiger Woods since becoming President, and Ernie Els joined him on his round with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
His affinity for the game, which he has demonstrated often since his inauguration, has prompted criticism from his opponents who point out that he had railed against his predecessor for spending so much time on the golf course.
“Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the US… President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter,” he wrote in October 2014.
The previous month he wrote: “Can you believe we still have not gotten our Marine out of Mexico. He sits in prison while our PRESIDENT plays golf and makes bad decisions!”