He failed to make the cut at last week’s Irish Open tournament on his home course at Royal County Down, but don’t feel too sorry for Rory McIlroy as the world’s top golfer had a special friend on hand to help him feel better.

American Erica Stoll, an employee of the US PGA Tour, has been dating Rory since late last year, and he was only too happy to show her off on Sunday and gush about the romance during an interview with London’s Sunday Times.

“I have met someone new,” McIlroy said. “She doesn’t play golf, but she is involved with golf. I have known her for three years and we are good friends. If everything off the golf course is good, it allows you to be better on it as well.

“I am very happy in my love life,” he added. “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.”

Stoll’s Twitter feed has been dormant since last October – right around the time she and Rory became an item. She lives in Palm Beach Gardens and first met McIlroy at the 2012 Ryder Cup in Illinois when she helped to get him to the course without penalty after he mistook his tee time.

McIlroy, of course, was famously engaged to tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki, but ended the relationship just over a year ago, saying he wasn’t ready for marriage. His game took off once he became single, but now it appears he’s ready for love again.