Inside the love life of Rory McIlroy and the whirlwind romance and story behind meeting wife Erica Stoll | The SunMay 17, 2023
ROCHESTER, New York has been good to Rory McIlroy.
His first trip came in 2013, one year after winning the PGA Championship, where he was given a hero's reception.
His second in 2015 set tongues wagging in the local community, as he began dating local, Erica Stoll.
The world No3 had just split from a high-profile romance with former tennis No1 Caroline Wozniacki.
That break-up became a tabloid fodder for a man who didn't feel comfortable in a celebrity couple.
But this was a more intimate and quiet affair.
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They took in 2Vine, now known as Redd, for a dinner date. The new couple were also spotted at the Magpie Irish Pub grabbing a drink, as onlookers spotted them looking loved up.
Within eight months, McIlroy and Stoll got engaged in Paris. The City of Love.
In 2017, the pair walked down the aisle at the five-star Ashford Castle found on Ireland's west coast.
Stevie Wonder and Ed Sheeran provided the entertainment, according to E!
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Three years later, McIlroy and Stoll welcomed daughter Poppy into the world at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida.
SunSport goes inside their whirlwind romance, starting with how they met.
She worked for the PGA
Stoll was a keen tennis player at high school, and graduated with a marketing degree at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008.
She soon scored a job as the PGA’s manager of championship volunteer operations, and often interacted with players and told them where they needed to be.
It was her awareness that saved McIlroy from missing his tee time at the 2012 Ryder Cup, after some confusion over the time zone.
She alerted officials and a police escort was organised to make sure he got there on time.
He was forever grateful and from firm friends they soon became much more.
The buzz around town on their first date made it hard for McIlroy and Stoll to be discreet.
A waitress told the Democrat and Chronicle as they left 2Vine: "Everybody in the restaurant was shouting, ‘Oh my God, that’s Rory McIlroy! That’s Rory McIlroy!’"
But, what McIlroy loved about Stoll and their relationship was she was unaffected by that and was down-to-earth.
He told the Irish Independent in 2017: "I can be myself around her.
"I love that (she) knows everything about me, and there was no judgment there. There was no judgment from day one, which is huge, because that’s very hard to find for someone in my position."
Privacy is key
All the while, as their romance blossomed, the two kept their relationship to themselves.
To this day, Stoll's Instagram is set to private.
And there were plenty of stipulations producers had to agree to when filming McIlroy for Netflix documentary series Full Swing.
He told the Golf Channel: "I made sure that the parameters were very much like, look, you can film me at — you’re not coming to my house, you’re not coming in my car, you’re not coming anywhere near my family, but you want to do some stuff with me at golf tournaments, totally fine."
When it came to announcing they were expectant parents, McIlroy made the big reveal just two days before Poppy arrived in the world.
Speaking at the BMW Championship, he said: "We’re about to be parents very soon, so we’re obviously super excited. 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 out here.
"It’s a private matter, but we’re really excited and can’t wait for her to get here."
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McIlroy has got a lot to be thankful for when it comes to Rochester, New York.
Maybe with the PGA Championship taking place there at Oak Hill, a tournament win would give him something else to be grateful for.
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