Irish golf champion Graeme McDowell proposed to his American girlfriend, Kristen Stape and she said yes.
He proposed at the 700 ft high helideck at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, which he said was a “very special location.” The helipad overlooks the city of Dubai. The couple had dined at the renowned Al Muntaha Restaurant last year and McDowell suggested that they go there again. He told The Independent, “So I booked a table, and when we arrived, I told her a contact at the hotel was going to give us a quick look around, which included going out on the helipad.” He had prepared a little speech for her and got a little choked up. McDowell got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. His was the first proposal on the helipad.
McDowell, who is known for being cool and in control on the golf course, admitted that he was nervous about popping the question. McDowell said about the proposal, “She had no idea what was going on and was shocked and stunned. I even found myself getting a bit emotional.”
McDowell met Stape, a top interior designer, when he hired her company to decorate the four bedroom house he built on the Lake Nona golf course in Orlando. The couple, both 33, will likely be married by the end of next year. McDowell says that Stape will be moving into the house she designed and said, “Hopefully she’s built a house she likes because it’ll cost me a lot of money if we have to change it.”
Both families are excited about the upcoming wedding. He said, “Kristen’s a great girl and both my family and hers are delighted with the news.”
McDowell said that they had not decided on a venue for the wedding. He told the Irish Examiner, “We haven’t decided on where we will get married but it will probably be somewhere in Florida or maybe the Bahamas as I like the idea of what Darren [Clarke] did this year getting married on the beach in the Bahamas as that was fantastic and the pictures looked awesome.”
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory have hit balls off the helipad. Roger Federer and Andre Agassi have played tennis on the helipad in 2005.
McDowell finished in the top ten in the Talisker Aussie Masters last week and is back in Dubai to compete in the DP World Tour Championship.