Erica Stoll saved Rory McIlroy from missing his Ryder Cup tee time back in 2012. Five years later, the couple got married in Ireland. According to The Sun, McIlroy proposed to Stoll in Paris in 2015. Stoll is originally from New York, but moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Stoll was also involved with golf, but worked behind the scenes for the PGA when the two met. McIlroy spoke with The Independent after his proposal about getting to know Stoll at various tournaments.
“Erica has been around me quite a lot at tournaments but we have really just tried to keep it low key,” McIlroy told The Independent. “She is a very low key person, not the kind to broadcast stuff, but that side of my life is really good just now. We are excited, our parents are excited so it is a really happy time.”
Learn more about McIlroy’s wife.
1. The Couple Got Married on April 22, 2017 With Performances from Stevie Wonder & Ed Sheeran
According to Golf.com, Stoll and McIlroy got married at the Ashford Castle in Ireland on April 22, 2017. The Irish Independent detailed the small but star-studded event that was attended by a number of golfers including Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, Martin Kaymer and Paul McGinley. Other celebrities included One Direction’s Niall Horan and actor Jamie Dornan.
According to The Irish Independent, Stevie Wonder performed with a full orchestra. Ed Sheeran performed at the post-wedding celebrations the following day.
The 350-acre estate went into a security lockdown leading up to the wedding as only those attending the ceremony were staying at the castle. According to The Mirror, the couple honeymooned in Barbados.
2. Rory Met Erica When She Was Working For the PGA Tour
The couple shares an interest in golf, but Stoll worked behind the scenes with the PGA. McIlroy spoke with The Independent about how he met Stoll, and why things clicked between the two of them.
“The thing I love about it is that we were friends before anything romantic happened,” McIlroy told The Independent. “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!'”
3. Erica Kept Rory From Missing His 2012 Ryder Cup Tee Time
Well before the couple started dating, Stoll rescued McIlroy from making a massive error during the 2012 Ryder Cup. McIlroy was in danger of missing his tee time when Stoll along with fellow PGA official Maggie Budzar went to check on McIlroy. The Washington Post detailed the popular narrative that has been passed on since the tournament.
Stoll famously saved McIlroy from missing his tee time on the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup when she was working for the PGA of America; he ended up winning his crucial match and helped Europe take the Cup.
Budzar, the other PGA official, detailed her version of the story to The Guardian.
It was 10.30am, I knew [McIlroy’s caddie] JP Fitzgerald had left about an hour earlier. I knew Rory’s tee time was 11.25 and he was the third group to go off. And we still hadn’t seen him.
I started getting worried that something had happened to him or that he had taken a different ride to the course. There was only one room still in use when housekeeping checked and a male voice said not to come in. We figured it had to be him because by now we knew he wasn’t at the course.
I called the guys at the driving range to see if they had seen him. They hadn’t so I called the European Tour officials to alert them. At first I was going to drive him to the course because I knew the way and we didn’t want to put a volunteer under stress in the courtesy car. I then asked a trooper at the front if he could take him with the flash light on. He said that would be OK. I gave Rory the choice and he went straight to the front seat of the trooper’s car.
4. McIlroy Was Looking For a Partner Who Was Not a Celebrity
McIlroy was engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, but the golfer called off the engagement. Wozniacki told Golf.com that McIlroy ended things over the phone.
”I was shocked, I thought at least I would get a face-to-face or something but there was nothing,” Wozniacki told Golf.com. “It was just a phone call and then I did not hear from him again.”
McIlroy has found it refreshing being with someone who it outside of the spotlight. He spoke with the Independent about how things differ in his current relationship.
Yeah, I did wonder about that. How does someone who gets sucked into that bubble of celebrity find love? How do you find someone who loves you for who you are?
Yeah, how do you? 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. And that’s why 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 bull—-, no acting, no show.
5. McIlroy Notes There Is “No Judgment” With Stoll
McIlroy admits he can talk with his wife about anything, and explained to The Independent there is no judgment when he is communicating with Stoll.
“I could speak to her about anything, we ended up spending a bit of time together and realized that there was something more there,” McIlroy told The Independent. “I love that she knows everything about me, and there was no judgement there. There was no judgement from day one, which is huge, because that’s very hard to find for someone in my position.”
Fellow golfer Shane Lowry noted the couple’s private wedding is just one of the many ways Stoll has tried to remain out of the spotlight.
“He’s obviously one of the world’s best golfers and a huge celebrity in Ireland, but Erica very much keeps herself to herself and she’s not into being out there at all and I think that’s the way they wanted to keep the wedding, so fair play to them,” Lowry told The Independent.