The Open 2013: Rory McIlroy makes clear his does not share Muirfield's attitude towards women members

The golfer also responds to Sir Nick Faldo and offers his thoughts on the Wayne Rooney transfer saga

Put your money on Rory McIlory this week. If his play glows half as hot as his Open commentary, McIlroy might yet set fire to Muirfield. McIlroy politely told Sir Nick Faldo to mind his own business, made it plain that he did not share Muirfield’s attitude towards women members and gave his full support to Wayne Rooney in the escalating stand-off with Manchester United.

In the latter regard, McIlory a rare beast among the United congregation, many of whom would see Rooney out of the door in the time it takes to say hello Juan Mata. Doubtless McIlroy empathises more than your average Red with the struggles of a genius in retreat and feels Rooney is worthy of every consideration by the David Moyes regime.

“If I were Wayne I would be very confused, too. He’s had nine great season at Man utd, and reading between the lines of what’s being said I don’t think he needs to prove himself to anyone. I don’t think he needs to prove himself to the new manager.”

McIlroy was out on a limb also on the politics of team selection. “I don’t think he should be playing second fiddle to (Robin) van Persie. He’s been a great player for United and very loyal player. I guess if I were him I’d probably be in the same position. So I hope he gets it sorted pretty quickly and stays at Old Trafford.

“I guess he just wants to play football. I think he is that sort of player. He just wants to get on the pitch and show what he can do. If he doesn’t feel he can do that at United he’ll obviously go elsewhere. I think that’s very understandable.”

On equally febrile matters, McIlroy was teased from his initial silence to pronounce his opposition to the fate of women, who almost a century after they were granted the vote are still not welcome as members at Muirfield.  “It’s something that shouldn’t happen these days. It’s something we shouldn’t even be talking about,” McIlroy said.

Asked whether any of his generation would want to join a single-gender institution, McIlroy could not even comprehend the framing of the question. “It’s something I’ve never thought about. I just don’t think it’s something that is a real issue anymore. Obviously it’s an issue at some golf clubs but in terms of life in general I think men and women are treated equally for the most part these days. And that’s the way it should be.”

That last observation should be pinned above the clubhouse door, and circulated around the offices of the R&A, who promised to reflect on the issue of the day after this great tournament has concluded. R&A chief executive Peter Dawson set out in his own forensic way why he thought the membership issue does not have a material impact on female participation in golf, explaining that the perfectly legal affiliation of men, and for that matter, women in homogenous groups is just one of the many harmless things human beings do.

McIlroy intuitively sees through that argument, recognises instinctively the meaning of exclusion and feels uncomfortable in an environment untouched by the emancipation of women elsewhere in society. He was none too pleased with Faldo, either.

There was a maturity about his response to Faldo’s advice to ‘concentrate on the golf’ and a humour about his response. “I saw what he said, that I should be on the course nine to five. I was on the range at 6:15 and got out of the gym at 6:15pm, actually a 12-hour day compared to his eight hour day.

“I know how these things work. I know he wasn’t trying to get on my case at all, that he was offering words of advice in some way. But as I said I think he has to remember how hard this game can be at times.”

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star