Muirfield golf club may have scrapped its all-male policy and been welcomed back into the British Open rotation but world number three Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday he is not ready to toast a new era.
The Northern Irishman, speaking a day after Muirfield voted to admit women members, remained critical of the years women were denied membership and did not sound like he would be changing his opinion anytime soon.
"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," McIlroy, 27, said as he prepared for Thursday's opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.
Muirfield had a male-only membership policy since the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which controls the course, was founded in 1744. Women are allowed to play there, but an initial ballot to allow women members failed in May last year when only 64 percent voted in favor.
But centuries of discrimination ended when the necessary two-thirds majority had been reached, with 80.2 percent of members voting in favor of change on Tuesday.
The R&A, the body that organizes The Open, then declared Muirfield back on its list of eligible courses, having said last year it would not stage the tournament at a venue that did not admit female members.
"I still think that it got to the stage, this stage, is horrendous," said McIlroy, a four-times major winner who won the 2014 British Open at Royal Liverpool.
"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."
Muirfield has hosted the Open 16 times, most recently in 2013 when it was won by American Phil Mickelson.
Tiger Woods has fourth back surgery
Charley Hoffman looking to rebound
Jimmy Walker diagnosed with Lyme disease
Shenzhen International: Bernd Wiesberger wins in a playoff
Valero Texas Open: Kevin Chappell claims first PGA Tour title
Latest Official World Golf Ranking
Current European Tour Race to Dubai Standings
Current PGA Tour FedEx Cup Standings
Ping launches iBlade irons
TaylorMade Golf M2 Irons
New SM6 Vokey Design Wedges
Titleist launch new Scotty Cameron Select putters
Titleist launch DT TruSoft golf ball
New 2016 NXT Tour, NXT Tour S and Velocity golf balls from Titleist
adidas Golf launch Tour360 Boost
SuperStroke introduces new Pistol GT putter grip
Lexi’s ‘Mistake’ May Fast-Track Change
Fumbling Toward Equality
Wie’s Game Back In The Spotlight
Ko, New Coach Look To ‘Swing Her Swing’
A Competitor Strives For Contentment
America Reigns In Bahamas
LPGA Players Grateful For Time Off
Ko Won’t Traffic In Teen Drama
Jutanugarn Comes Of Age
Iceland’s Kristinsdóttir Heats Up in Abu Dhabi
Irishman Dunne Makes Promising Progress
Harbour Town Elicits Timeless Golf Chops
Striking Balance Begets Ryu’s Success
Do you struggle to take your ‘range game’ onto the golf course?