This time last year Rory McIlroy was celebrating his new engagement to tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki -- we all know how that ended – but these days, he’s reportedly dating an employee of the U.S. PGA Tour who came to his rescue in 2012 when he was in danger of defaulting his place in the Ryder Cup because he misjudged a tee time.
Erica Stoll is a 27-year-old blond beauty who was charged with waking McIlroy and getting him to the course in Illinois in the nick of time. McIlroy, 25, was grateful for the intervention and apparently stayed friends with American Erica.
According to Rory “sources,” they’ve been dating for three months. The romance went trans-Atlantic last week as he brought Erica home to Ireland to ring in 2015.
"Rory and Erica obviously have been linked in the headlines for all the right reasons already but they seem to have hit it off even more since. It's been kept quiet but they have stayed in contact and they meet up when he is in America," the source told the Irish Independent.
"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."
The new couple were spotted in Dublin in the week before Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and they celebrated in style on the 31st at Ashford Castle in Co. Mayo. Though he didn’t mention Erica, Rory posted a photo on his Instagram from Ashford with two champagne glasses.
We wish Erica well. She’ll be hounded by the press if she starts following the world’s top ranked golf pro at his tournaments and likely compared to Wozniacki if his game starts to falter, as it did for a large part of his relationship with the tennis pro.