Home » Inside McIlroy’s love life from flirting with Markle to dumping fiancee on phone

Inside McIlroy’s love life from flirting with Markle to dumping fiancee on phone


AND so it has run its course.

Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll, who appeared a match made in heaven, are no more.


Rory McIlroy has filed to divorce wife of seven years, Erica Stoll


According to court papers, McIlroy and Stoll’s marriage is ‘irretrievably broken’Credit: Getty Images – Getty


Charming McIlroy has an interesting relationship pastCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The Northern Ireland golf star filed for divorce by submitting a three-page document to a Florida court house, according to TMZ.

Although the reasons for divorce have not been disclosed, the court papers revealed that the marriage was “irretrievably broken”.

The pair were married for seven years and share a daughter called Poppy, who was born in 2020.

McIlroy, 35, has asked for the couple’s prenuptial agreement to be upheld, as well as implementing a shared parenting plan.

His reps told SunSport: “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.”

McIlroy’s split with Erica, 36, isn’t the first time the four-time major winner’s relationships have made the headlines.

When McIlroy burst onto the scene as a fresh faced teenager, he was supported by childhood pal Holly.

They got together when he was just 16 after meeting at Hollywood Golf Club.

McIlroy and Holly, a former Ulster Rugby cheerleader, were on/off for eight years, as he became one of golf’s most talked about prospects.

Rory McIlroy files for divorce from wife Erica

“She knows me better than basically anyone else in this world does, apart from my parents. And someone like that with you is very grounding,” he revealed in the 2011 documentary Rory’s Major Breakthrough.

However, they split up later that year – with McIlroy claiming the split was “amicable.”

But Holly alleged the golfer had left her for tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

“It was Rory that ran away with Caroline (Wozniacki) – not the other way around – so I guess I blame Rory, or both of them if I’m totally honest,” she said at the time.


McIlroy’s first public romance was with high school sweetheart Holly SweeneyCredit: Getty Images – Getty


Sweeney was a cheerleader for Ulster Rugby clubCredit: Sportsfile – Subscription


Sweeney alleged McIlroy left her for Caroline WozniackiCredit: PA:Empics Sport

Beginning their romance in such an unceremonious way wasn’t the ideal start with the Danish tennis beauty.

They reportedly met at a boxing match, and soon prospered as a sporting power couple.

For three years Caroline was Rory’s biggest champion, and vice versa.

On New Year’s Eve in 2013, they got engaged and jetted off to Monte Carlo to enjoy a five star romantic break.

Fancy wedding invitations were sent to friends and family, with a date set.

However, months after popping the question, Rory alleged dumped Caroline in a three-minute PHONE CALL – just months before their nuptials.

Friends told the Irish Independent that a photo shared of McIlroy in a deep sleep on Twitter, now known as X, was one of the final straws for him.

A source told them: “Rory was very upset by it and even Serena Williams pointed out – albeit, in a joking way – it was a pretty mean thing to do.”

Following their break-up, Rory said in a statement in 2014: “The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realise that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.


McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki began dating in 2011


McIlroy and Wozniacki were soon a sport’s power coupleCredit: Getty


McIlroy and Wozniacki soon got engaged, but he reportedly dumped her months before the wedding over the phoneCredit: Getty Images – Getty


Wozniacki was left devastated by the split, according to reportsCredit: Instagram @carowozniacki

“I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had.”

McIlroy later declared he found it tough dating someone else who was in the public eye.

“I thought at the time that being with someone that was in a similar position to you was the obvious answer.

“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.”

Wozniaki has since married former NBA star David Lee, with whom she has two children.

Rory McIlroy’s career achievements

Rory McIlroy spent more than 100 weeks at World No1 – and has scooped four Majors and won 40 tournaments in all SO FAR.

Only all-time greats Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have matched his feat of winning one of the big four by the age of 25.

And after winning the 2011 US Open, the Northern Ireland ace added the PGA Championship the following year – adding the Open and PGA crowns in 2014.

Here’s a rundown on the glittering career of the 35-year-old, five-time Ryder Cup winner, who was also a strong critic of the rival Saudi-backed LIV tour:

2007 – topped the world amateur rankings aged 17.

Turned professional in September.

Became the youngest Affiliate Member in the history of The European Tour to earn a tour card.

2009 – reached the world top 50.
2010 – won his first PGA Tour title via the Quail Hollow Championship.

Made a winning Ryder Cup debut.

Became the youngest player to reach $10m earnings on the PGA Tour.

2011 – Famously blew a four-stroke lead on the final day of the Masters in May.

But won his first major the following month – the US Open.

Named Sports Person of the year by RTE – Ireland’s main broadcaster.

2012 – lifted the PGA Championship.

Named PGA Tour player of the year and picked up more Ryder Cup glory.

2013 – signed a huge sponsorship deal with Nike.
2014 – his best year to date, majors wise.

Won the Open at Royal Liverpool.

Then clinched back-to-back PGA crowns, beating Phil Mickelson by one stroke.

Named RTE Sports Person of the year for a second time.

Again helped Europe win the Ryder Cup.

2016 – Ended the season winning the Tour championship, putting him top of the FedEx Cup and landing him the $10m bonus pool.

Suffered Ryder Cup defeat.

2017 – failed to win all year.

But gained top 10 finishes at the Masters, The Open and 3 WGC events.

And with Nike largely withdrawing from the golf market, he landed an £80m endorsement deal with TaylorMade.

2018 – More Ryder Cup joy.
2020 Overtook Brooks Koepka to become World No1
2021 – A Ryder Cup loser.
2022 – runners-up at the Masters and finished third at the Open.
2023 – helped Europe thrash the USA 16.5-11.5 in the Ryder Cup.
2024 – struggled early in the season, finishing just joint-22nd in the Masters.

But then won two tournaments – the Zurich Classic for his 25th PGA title and the Wells Fargo Championship.

In 2014, McIlroy was romantically linked with the now Duchess of Sussex.

The pair flirted in a video shared on social media, as he helped the American actress take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral trend adopted by many celebs to raise money for ALS.

Later Markle would wax lyrical about McIlroy on her blog, The Tig.

She gushed: “He is a force who has the propensity to actually work hard and play hard, relishing intense practices to substantiate his title, embracing nights of sipping Opus One (his bold and impressive choice of wine) and indulging in group dinners at Cipriani for the balance, of course.

“And yet, beyond his work/play ethic, the most endearing quality of this man is his character, as real and honest as they come, appreciating a simple smile, never shunning a fan photo, enjoying a plate of pasta with veal ragu, and expressing a love for his parents that is rarely seen in men his age.


McIlroy and Meghan Markle flirted on social media as he showed her the ice bucket challengeCredit: Twitter @McIlroyRory


There was no suggestion McIlroy and Markle were more than friendsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

“Or at any age, to be honest. He is not just the real deal… he is real. And perhaps that is what makes him even more cherished.”

In 2018, the Irish Mirror reported the pair were “never more than friends.”

McIlroy and American beauty Erica first met in 2011 when she was working for PGA at the Ryder Cup as manager of Championship Volunteer Operations.

A year later, the Northern Irishman was famously late to the course after his alarm failed to go off.

And Erica sorted a police escort for McIlroy, allowing him to tee off on time as Team Europe completed the “Miracle at Medinah”.

Soon after Rory split with Caroline, he began seeing Erica.

They got engaged in 2015 and tied the knot at a star-studded ceremony attended by Ed Sheeran, Stevie Wonder and Coldplay singer Chris Martin.

Speaking about their relationship in a previous interview with the Irish Independent, McIlroy said: “The thing I love about it is that we were friends before anything romantic happened.

“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’.

Inside Rory McIlroy’s whirlwind love life

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.


Erica Stoll and McIlroy met when she worked for the PGA at the Ryder Cup as manager of Championship Volunteer OperationsCredit: Getty


Stoll and McIlroy got engaged in 2015 before tying the knot in a star studded ceremonyCredit: Getty


The good times are sadly over for McIlroy and Stoll now after he filed for divorceCredit: AFP – Getty

“I feel in such a good place now. I don’t feel Erica wants to change me in any way. I can be myself around her. There’s no bulls**t, no acting, no show.”

They became parents in 2018 to Poppy, who they called the “absolute love of their lives.”

Now, they will go their own way as they adjust to a life without one another.

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