2:39 PM ET
- Bob HarigESPN Senior Writer Close
- Senior golf writer for ESPN.com
- Covered golf for more than 20 years
- Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana University
ORLANDO — Rory McIlroy is no fan of Muirfield, the course in Scotland that is back in the rotation of Open venues after the club located there voted Tuesday to allow women members for the first time in its centuries-old history.
McIlroy wondered Wednesday what took so long.
"In this day and age, where you've got women that are the leaders of certain industries and women that are heads of state, and not to be able to join a golf course?'' McIlroy said at the Bay Hill Club, where he is playing in this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational. "I mean, it's obscene. Like it's ridiculous. So they sort of saw sense.
"And yeah, 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.''
McIlroy didn't have a great experience at Muirfield when the Open was last played there in 2013, having missed the cut. The winner of four major championships, McIlroy, 27, won The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2014.
The golfer, who is from Northern Ireland, noted that the voting totals released on Tuesday showed 123 members of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers — the club that plays out of Muirfield — voted against admitting women.
A similar vote failed a year ago, and at the time, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers announced that Muirfield would not be considered for future Opens until it changed its policy. When the new vote took place — and a three-quarters majority was required — the R&A changed its stance and welcomed Muirfield back.
"It's horrendous,'' McIlroy said of anyone not voting for the measure. "I mean, 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 next possibility for Muirfield would be after 2021, when The Open is expected to be awarded to The Old Course at St. Andrews. Muirfield, along with Turnberry, would then possibly be in line for the 2022 Open. There are two other Scottish courses on the rotation: Royal Troon, where Henrik Stenson won last year; and Carnoustie, where the Open will be played in 2018.