London (AFP) - Former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy has revealed his fascination with Donald Trump after taking to the fairways with the controversial US President.
Trump is a keen golfer and McIlroy accepted an offer from the commander-in-chief to join him for a round at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida last weekend.
Trump's contentious comments and actions have been criticised by some in the world of sport.
But while Northern Ireland's McIlroy refrained from offering his views on his latest playing partner's political policies, the former British Open, US Open and PGA Championship winner did reveal he was intrigued by Trump's rise to power.
"I really got into it once Trump ran because I knew him a little bit but at the same time I was intrigued how a successful businessman could transition into running for the highest office in the land," McIlroy told the Guardian on Friday.
"It is a totally different process from the UK. He obviously came at it from a completely different angle.
"I've said it to the man himself; on a Tuesday night at a tournament, if there was a live (political) debate, I would get room service, stick on CNN and just watch. It was pure entertainment, even if you didn't understand politics it was this complete phenomenon.
"Something like this probably won't happen again in our lifetime. I'm very attuned to it, I watch a lot of news. You can't avoid it. I had no interest in politics until a couple of years ago; now I can't seem to get away from it.
"I feel like I've stayed unpolitical in terms of Northern Ireland and all that goes on there but because I'm not an American I don't feel a real part of it; I'm just interested by the phenomenon of it all.
"I don't really care about the policies. The whole circus, this big show is intriguing to watch."