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Rory McIlroy speaks out for first time since filing for divorce from wife Erica

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GOLFER Rory McIlroy has spoken out for the first time since splitting from his American wife after just seven years of marriage.

McIlroy, 35 – said to be worth £200 million – has filed for divorce from stunning Erica Stoll after submitting documents in Florida on Monday.

Golfer Rory McIlroy and wife Erica Stoll have filed for divorce

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Golfer Rory McIlroy and wife Erica Stoll have filed for divorceCredit: Sportsfile

The Northern Irish star did not cite a reason for the divorce – with the shock break-up coming after the couple tied the knot at a star-studded wedding in 2017.

But the three-page divorce petition – lodged with Palm Beach County Court – said the marriage was “irretrievably broken”.

McIlroy’s team tonight released a statement that said: “Rory McIlroy’s communications team confirmed today that a divorce has been filed.

“They stressed Rory’s desire to ensure this difficult time is as respectful and amicable as possible.

“He will not be making any further comment.”

Documents filed in the US showed that four-time major champion McIlroy and Erica signed a pre-nuptial agreement in March 2017 before they wed in April that year.

They also revealed the couple had agreed to “shared parental responsibility” for their daughter Poppy, three.

Golf world No 2 McIlroy and Erica first met in September 2012 at the Ryder Cup where she helped him get to the course after he overslept.

At the time, McIlroy was dating Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki – with the pair getting engaged – before splitting in 2014. His romance with Erica, 36, blossomed the next year.

Erica – who worked for the US PGA when they met – and McIlroy then wed at a lavish ceremony in County Mayo, Ireland in front of guests including Ed Sheeran, One Direction’s Niall Horan and Coldplay singer Chris Martin.

And Erica – and daughter Poppy – have often been by his side as McIlroy starred at tournaments in recent years. Erica cheered him on at the Ryder Cup in Italy last year and also caddied for him at the Masters Par 3 contest in 2023.

Erica was seen at The Players in March when the PGA Tour shared a heartwarming clip of she and Poppy greeting McIlroy on the 18th green.

The golfer was seen scooping his daughter into his arms for a hug with Erica telling him they had been watching his birdie-birdie finish.
Their split comes on the eve of the US PGA Championships in Valhalla, Kentucky, which starts tomorrow (THURS) with McIlroy one of the favourites.

And this evening a golf source: “Their split comes right out of the blue and no-one saw it coming.

“The timing is very odd with Rory about to take part in a tournament but perhaps he wanted to get things tied up before it started.

“Ironically, Rory is in some of the best form of his life so whatever has been going on behind the scenes has not affected him at all.

“He is on a hot streak so everything in the garden appeared to be rosy.

“But he will now be the focus of a lot of attention because his divorce has been made public.

“Let’s just hope it doesn’t affect his form in Kentucky and his game in general.

“But hopefully, with the news out there Rory will be able to focus on the tournament.”

This afternoon, a rep for the golfing ace confirmed the split to The Sun.

They said: “A divorce has been filed.”

The representative said the couple wanted to remain “respectful and amicable” and to “surround their daughter with love”.

McIlroy has won his last two golf starts – at the Wells Fargo Championship and Zurich Classic.

And all eyes will now be on him when he tees off in Kentucky, where he starts the 106th championship as second favourite to American Scottie Scheffler.

It was at Ryder Cup event in Medinah, Illinouis in 2012 where McIlroy first met Erica, who was working for US Professional Golfers’ Association as manager of Championship Volunteer Operations.

McIlroy’s alarm failed to go off but Erica came to his aid, and helped arrange a police escort to race him to the course so he did not miss his tee time.

The star went on to help Europe to the famous ‘Miracle of Medinah’ comeback victory.

McIlroy and Erica stayed friends, while the golfer was with ex world tennis No.1 Wozniacki – before their romance blossomed in 2014.

Talking about their relationship the following year, McIlroy said: “I am very happy in my love life.

“We haven’t really been putting it out there. She is from America, which is why I like to spend time in Palm Beach.

“The past six or seven months have been really nice. That part of my life is going great.”

And in a later interview, he added: “The thing I love about it is that we were friends before anything romantic happened.”

The couple also kept Erica’s pregnancy with Poppy under wraps until just before she gave birth in September 2020.

Days before the new arrival, McIlroy told reporters at the BMW Championship: “We’re about to be parents very soon, so we’re obviously super excited.

“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.

“But we’re really excited and can’t wait for [our daughter] to get here.”

McIlroy announced the birth of their daughter via Instagram shortly after in September 2020.

He, Erica and Poppy are understood to have lived in a 12,800 square foot £7 million mansion in Jupiter, Florida – a hotbed of golf.

The star reportedly broke off his relationship with Wozniaki through a three-minute phone call after saying he “wasn’t ready for everything that marriage entails”.

McIlroy – who previously dated childhood sweetheart and socialite Holly Sweeney, 33, added at the time: “I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had.”

Their split came in May 2014, before they were due to wed in November – having already sent out invites.

This afternoon, McIlroy’s rep said he and Erica hoped for privacy for their daughter and added: “Neither will be making any further comment.”

Inside Rory McIlroy’s whirlwind love life

By Ciaran Wiseman

Rory McIlroy enjoyed a high-profile romance with former tennis world number one Caroline Wozniacki before their split in 2014.

The following year, the golf ace began dating Erica Stoll, who he had first met on the PGA Tour in 2011.

Erica often interacted with players through her role as the PGA’s manager of championship volunteer operations.

She even prevented McIlroy from missing his tee time at the 2012 Ryder Cup after some confusion over the time zone.

The incident began a firm friendship between the pair, four years before their relationship turned romantic.

McIlroy and Erica were spotted on a string of dates in Rochester, New York, in the early days of their relationship.

Just eight months later, the couple got engaged in Paris and walked down the aisle at Ashford Castle in Ireland in 2017.

The pair then welcomed daughter Poppy into the world three years later.

Throughout their time together, McIlroy and Erica have kept their relationship to themselves, with the golfer keen to protect his family from the cameras during filming of Netflix’s Full Swing documentary series.

However, after seven years of marriage, McIlroy has now filed for divorce from Erica.

The reasons for the divorce have not been disclosed, but the Northern Irishman has submitted documents to a court in Florida.

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