Rory McIlroy speaks for first time & refuses to take questions about divorce from Erica Stoll ahead of PGA championship

RORY MCILROY has spoken out for the first time since filing for divorce from wife Erica Stoll.

News broke yesterday that the golfer, 35, submitted legal documents to the courts in Florida on Monday to end his marriage after seven years.

GettyRory McIlroy spoke to the media following news of his split from Erica Stoll[/caption]

GettyThe golfer refused to be drawn on questions about his break-up[/caption]

PAThe golfer filed for divorce on Monday[/caption]

McIlroy and Stoll tied the knot in 2017Getty

The paperwork described their marriage as “irretrievably broken”.

McIlroy’s shock split from Erica came in the days between winning the Wells Fargo at Quail Hollow on Sunday and the start of the PGA Championship at Valhalla tomorrow.

The Northern Irishman was spotted on the driving range on Tuesday having removed his wedding ring as he joked around with friends and appeared in a relaxed mood ahead of the year’s second major.

But speaking at the site of his fourth and most recent major win a decade ago, McIlroy refused to be quizzed about the bombshell break-up.

The media officer hosting the press conference in Kentucky warned journalists McIlroy would not be taking any questions about his personal life.

But asked how he is feeling going into the prestigious tournament, a defiant McIlroy simply said: “I’m ready to play this week.”

He added: “I feel good, I am coming to a venue where I’ve had some success at before.”

Rory and Erica met when he overslept at the 2012 Ryder Cup and she arranged a police escort to get him to the first tee in time.

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The golfer was dating Danish tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki at the time but he called off their engagement in 2014 after sending out the wedding invitations.

McIlroy started dating former PGA employee Stoll in 2015, proposing in Paris in December of that year.

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.

They married in 2017 – joined by a star-studded guest list – and welcomed their baby daughter Poppy three years later.

Erica was in attendance at the Ryder Cup in Rome last autumn, cheering on her husband as he inspired Europe to an emphatic win over the USA.

However, McIlroy hinted at trouble in his relationship with Erica with a subtle clue on Sunday.

During a TV interview after his fourth Wells Fargo, he heaped praise on mum Rosie for Mother’s Day in the USA but did not mention his daughter’s mother Erica.

The split was confirmed by the world No2’s representatives who 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.”

EPAThe couple first met in 2012 when McIlroy overslept at the Ryder Cup[/caption]

PATheir marriage was described as ‘irretrievably broken’[/caption]

GettyThey have one child together, daughter Poppy[/caption]

GettyMcIlroy has removed his wedding ring[/caption]

GettyHe is hoping to win the fight major of his career this weekend[/caption]

GettyMcIlroy signed autographs after practice ahead of the PGA Championship[/caption]

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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