After a public breakup with tennis star Caroline Wozniack Rory McIlroy is reportedly ready to try this whole marriage thing again.
According to multiple reports, McIlroy and his girlfriend of more than a year, Erica Stoll, have taken their relationship to the next level after the PGA standout proposed in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Reps for McIlroy have neither confirmed nor denied the engagement, telling media, “We don’t comment on speculation about our client’s personal life.” Still, an Instagram post by the golfer only added fuel to the speculation fire. However, the two all but confirmed the news themselves when they stepped out together on December 10 at the Paddy Wallace Fund event in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Stoll sported a very big ring on a very important finger.
Read on to learn about Stoll, her relationship with McIlroy and the couple’s future together:
1. Stoll is the Manger of Championship Volunteer Operations at the PGA
Stoll, who was born in America, is a golf fan at heart and has even taken her fandom to work with her, turning her passion into a career. Most recently, the Florida resident has worked as the manager of Championship Volunteer Operations at the PGA of America.
In fact, that’s how she and McIlroy first met. A source close to McIlroy told The Sunday Independent that the two connected over their love of the game:
The fact that she has a big interest in golf is an important factor – and it’s not just a case that she has sparked an interest in the game since meeting Rory. In fact she is every bit as obsessed with golf as him.
When Stoll isn’t focused on golf, she’s an avid fan of sailing, regularly posting her boating voyages to Instagram and, if she’s being honest, she can’t quite turn away from each new episode of The Bachelor.
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2. She Famously ‘Saved’ McIlroy During the 2012 Ryder Cup
Picture it. It’s 2012. Rory McIlroy is ready to compete in the Ryder Cup, anxious to lead his team to glory. Only, there’s one problem. He’s running late and it looks as if he’s going to miss his singles match tee time
Enter Stoll, ready for the rescue.
Thanks to some quick thinking and some power of the PGA, Stoll got McIlroy a police escort to the course and the golfer narrowly avoided disqualification.
Saving your future husband from public embarrassment? Seems like a pretty good start to a romance.
3. The Pair Made Their Public Debut in May
McIlroy and Stoll made their first public appearance together at the Royal County Down, the site of the Irish Open, in May. The pictures spread like wildfire across the internet as golf fans clamored to learn more about the girl next to the Irish standout.
Although they were only seen together for the first time a few months ago, reports say that the pair have actually been dating for over a year. Rumors officially started swirling of the relationship months earlier and there has been speculation that the two have been together since last December.
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4. McIlroy Went on to Confirm the Relationship in the Press
McIlroy confirmed his relationships status, although he didn’t mention Stoll by name, during an interview with the Times of London:
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.
Those in the know, honed in on the “Pam Beach” part of the quote, nothing that Stoll is based in Florida. McIlroy, who battled injuries throughout the year, added that the relationship had even helped his golf game. He said, “If everything off the golf course is good, it allows you to be better on it.
5. McIlroy Ended His Previous Engagement Over the Phone
The Irish standout didn’t make a lot of allies after news spread that he had broken off his engagement with tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki – over the phone. According to reports, the pair had already sent out their wedding day invitations and Wozniacki first thought that McIlroy was joking.
She went on to describe the moment on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger”:
Oh, I was shocked. I thought at least, you know, I would get a face-to-face or something, but there was nothing. It was just a phone call and I did not hear from him again. It kind of just ended. I don’t think you expect yourself to be in a situation like that.
McIlroy went on to release a statement of his own after the breakup, saying: “The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realize that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.”
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