So it was a round of golf in the end. Not just a few holes as the White House originally stated took place at the weekend between President Trump and the wee fella from Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy. But a full 18 holes because the World No 1 leader obviously enjoyed the company of the World No 3 golf player so much that 'he decided to stay longer,' according to the White House clarification.
— ClearSports (@ClearSportsLLC) February 19, 2017
Now I'm no golf player, but I looked up how long it normally takes to do a full 18 holes, and while it of course all depends on how good the players are, around four hours seems to be an average guess. Imagine that, a man taking that much time on a Sunday to get some exercise and fresh air. Or to get away from the wife. No wait, that one's already covered.
And now there's a lot of fuss about two things, first being that the current World No 1 made a great deal of fuss about the former World No 1 spending too much time on the golf course. Those marvellous people at Golf Digest tallied up the time President Obama spent on the golf links, and came up with 306 rounds over 8 years, which works out at around 38 rounds a year. President Trump has since taking office just one month ago already stepped out on a golf course six times, but I'm assuming that's just because he's easing into his presidency at the moment, and is taking time out when he can before things start to really build up. Like that wall.
Secondly, regardless of his performance on the day, Rory McIlroy's now being seen as the bogeyman for being there. This is a young man who has actively tried to stay out of the political side of sport, not taking part in the Rio Olympics last year as he didn't want to choose between playing for Ireland or Team GB. I imagine it might be hard to turn down an invitation to play with the President of the United States, although some have pointed out the fact that Rory was recovering from injury would have given him the perfect excuse.
But for those who criticise him, let it not be forgotten it was Rory who let the cat out of the bag re the extra 15 or so holes that were played this weekend. In his comments to the No Laying Up golf blog, Rory gracefully conceded that President Trump was a 'decent player for a guy in his 70s'. That, my friends, is Irish irony at its best. More importantly. he also commented that the president shot around 80, the significance of which was lost on me, but which very clearly indicated to those in the know that there were a few holes in the story about a few holes.
I like Rory McIlory. He's from my neck of the woods, and I imagine he really misses things like prawn cocktail Tayto crisps, new season Comber potates and Veda bread when he's traveling the world. We're getting to that time of the year when all sorts of mischievous-looking wee men will be appearing everywhere in the run-up to St Patrick's Day, and I can't help picturing Rory with a twinkle in his eye as he uttered his seemingly innocent comments.
After all, it's not as if he hasn't been called a leprechaun before.
And just in case you're wandering what on earth prawn cocktail Tayto crisps are -