Stoll his heart! Rory McIlroy and wife Erica Stoll sparked a lasting romance after years of friendship.
The pro golfer initially met Stoll in 2012 while he was still dating tennis player Caroline Wozniacki. (The exes split in 2014 after three years and were briefly engaged.)
“The thing I love about it is that we were friends before anything romantic happened,” McIlroy gushed to the Irish Independent in January 2017, describing what makes his relationship with Stoll so special. “We met when she was working for the PGA of America and renting a condo in Palm Beach, and I found it refreshing being with someone who was living a normal life rather than, ‘Oh! My jet is 30 minutes late.’”
McIlroy hinted that his perspective on relationships changed after he started seeing the New York native. “I thought at the time that being with someone that was in a similar position to you was the obvious answer,” he added, seemingly referring to his romance with Wozniacki. “But it isn’t, because you can never get away from it. You can never detach yourself and try to come back to the real world. And that’s why I feel in such a good place now.”
He continued: “I don’t feel Erica wants to change me in any way. I can be myself around her. … I love that [she] knows everything about me, and there was no judgment there.”
The Irish athlete and the former PGA of America employee got engaged in Paris in December 2015. Their April 2017 wedding was held at a castle in McIlroy’s native country — and was reportedly attended by some A-list guests, from 50 Shades of Grey actor Jamie Dornan and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Since tying the knot, the duo have remained relatively quiet about their relationship. Stoll maintains a low-key presence on social media, with her Instagram account set to private.
The pair are so under-the-radar that McIlroy didn’t announce his wife’s pregnancy until days before she gave birth in August 2020. “We’re about to be parents very soon, so we’re obviously super excited,” he told reporters at the BMW Championship. “Yeah, we’ve been sharing the news with friends and family, obviously, but I didn’t think it was something that I really particularly needed to share [publicly]. … But we’re really excited and can’t wait for [our daughter] to get here.”
At the time, the two-time PGA champ teased that he would be “out of here” should Stoll go into labor during the golf tournament.
McIlroy announced daughter Poppy’s birth via Instagram in September 2020. “She is the absolute love of our lives. Mother and baby are doing great. Massive thank you to all the staff at Jupiter Medical Center and Dr Sasha Melendy for their amazing care ,” he gushed in the caption.
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Scroll down for a look back at McIlroy and Stoll’s private romance:
Originally published at www.usmagazine.com