Rory McIlroy had a week to forget on the course at the Irish Open, missing the cut at his home event after an opening-round 80. But off the course, the golf world will also remember this week for being the first time the World No. 1 appeared in public with his new girlfriend.
For the first time since his high-profile breakup with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, Rory talked publicly about a new girl, in comments to The Times of London Magazine. And during the final round of the event at Royal County Down, Rory was seen with his new girl, Erica Stoll.
"I have met someone new," McIlroy told the magazine. "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 continued. "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."
The World No. 1 did not address her by name, but numerous reports have confirmed that the "someone new" is Stoll, 29, who Rory was walking hand in hand with at Royal County Down. Stoll lives in Palm Beach -- where Rory's U.S. home is -- and works for the PGA of America. They have been linked together for six months now, after reportedly spending New Years together.
Stoll is also the girl who helped get Rory to Medinah in time for his Ryder Cup tee time via a police escort after he apparently overslept. Now it looks pretty serious. Although we're not sure if Stoll was either really, really cold being in Northern Ireland, or trying to hide from the press with that hooded-jacket look. Either way, the two were spotted at Rory's first sponsored event together. That's serious. Solid moves, Rors.