Rory McIlroy: Muirfield needing re-vote on women to get Open back is 'obscene'

Rory McIlroy has a way with words. The four-time major winner is also adept at shining a light on what he (along with many) views as an unjust circumstance in the sport of golf. This week’s target was the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers which runs the Muirfield Golf Club. It is the group that voted 80 percent to 20 percent to allow female members at its club this week.

This re-vote, after voting it down last year by failing to surpass a 66 percent majority, allowed Muirfield to re-enter the rotation of courses that will host the British Open

Fellow European Henrik Stenson said Tuesday that this was a great thing.

“That’s great news,” Stenson said to a reporter in his press conference. “I didn’t know that. Thanks for that. That’s the best news you ever brought to me. Muirfield is one of my absolute favorite, if not my favorite Open venue. I kind of ranked for me personally it was Muirfield, Birkdale, and it’s hard not to put Troon right in there with Birkdale, probably. So, that’s great news to be able to come back to Muirfield at some point.”

McIlroy, however, did not see it that way.

“Muirfield wouldn’t be one of my favorite Open rota courses, so no matter the decision yesterday, if it had been kept off The Open Championship rota, I wouldn’t have been that unhappy,” McIlroy said on Wednesday. 

“I was outspoken about this before whenever the vote went the first time around,” he added. “I mean, 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? I mean, it’s obscene. Like it’s ridiculous. 

“So, they sort of saw sense. I still think that it got to the stage, this stage, is horrendous. 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 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.”

The margin of vote revealed this week showed that 123 members of the club still voted “no” even with the threat of getting the Open taken away long-term looming from the R&A.

McIlroy is right about this. It really is ridiculous. Muirfield was one of a tiny sliver of clubs worldwide that host events but still don’t admit female members. It is something the Japanese course that is supposed to host the 2020 Olympics is currently debating.

Muirfield is three years behind the The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, which voted to allow women members in 2014.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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