Rory McIlroy breaks silence after US Open heartbreak as golf star opens up on ‘toughest day in 17 years’

Rory McIlroy breaks silence after US Open heartbreak as golf star opens up on ‘toughest day in 17 years’

RORY MCILROY has broken his silence after his US Open heartbreak and opened up on the “toughest day in 17 years”.

The Northern Irishman, 35, came agonisingly close to ending his 10-year wait for a major title on Sunday.

GettyRory McIlroy suffered heartbreak with his late collapse at the US Open[/caption]

However, with five holes left to play he carded three bogeys to squander a two-shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau.

McIlroy handed his rival an unexpected lifeline after missing a par putt from four feet on the final hole, and DeChambeau grabbed the opportunity with both hands to wrap up the title.

Now the golfer, who just days ago called off his divorce from wife Erica Stoll, has released a statement on X about his crushing setback.

He wrote: “Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I’ve had in my nearly 17 years as a professional golfer.

“Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Bryson. He is a worthy champion and exactly what professional golf needs right now. I think we can all agree on that.

“As I reflect on my week, I’ll rue a few things over the course of the tournament, mostly the 2 missed putts on 16 and 18 on the final day. But, as I always try to do, I’ll look at the positives of the week that far outweigh the negatives.

“As I said at the start of the tournament, I feel closer to winning my next major championship than I ever have.

“The one word that I would describe my career as is resilient. I’ve shown my resilience over and over again in the last 17 years and I will again.”

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McIlroy added: “I’m going to take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up for my defense of the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open at Royal Troon. See you in Scotland.”

McIlroy’s divorce U-turn was less than a month after he initially filed paperwork to split with the mother of his three-year-old daughter.

Allegations were made in the American media that McIlroy had enjoyed a romance with Amanda Balionis, 38.

He was then pictured hugging the CBS Sports star, fuelling speculation the pair were dating, before the news of reconciliation with Stoll.

But while he was suffering disappointment on the course, Balionis was kicking back on the beach.

Questions have been raised over recent months regarding the TV reporter’s two-year marriage to college football coach Bryn Renner, who is also a tech company account manager. 

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 filed for divorce from Erica.

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

However, a few weeks later, performed a U-turn on their decision to divorce.

McIlroy told the outlet: “Thankfully, we have resolved our differences and look forward to a new beginning.”

They got engaged in 2021 and wed the next year but Balionis has not worn her wedding ring since February on her social media posts.

Although it is understood that neither of them have filed for divorce, she has changed her username on X from her married moniker of Balionis Renner to just her maiden name of Balionis.

Meanwhile, McIlroy has been spotted with his wife for the first time since the couple called off their divorce.

They were seen with their daughter in Florida on Monday.

Stoll was wearing her engagement ring, while her husband had his wedding band.

Rory McIlroy’s career achievements

By Ian Tuckey

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.

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