Forward swing! Golf champion Rory McIlroy is engaged to his girlfriend, Erica Stoll, after less than a year of dating.
The pro athlete brought his pretty new fiancee to a Paddy Wallace Fund event in Belfast, Ireland, on Thursday, Dec. 10, where Stoll sported a giant diamond sparkler on her left ring finger. The couple coordinated outfits for the swanky affair, with McIlory in a black suit and Stoll in a matching one-shoulder cocktail dress.
Speculation about a possible engagement between the pair began last week when McIlroy, 26, posted a romantic photo of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The lovebirds first publicly stepped out together this past June. McIlroy opened up about his relationship in May while speaking to The Times of London. “I am very happy in my love life. We haven’t really been putting it out there,” he said. “She doesn’t play golf, but she is involved with golf. I have known her for three years and we are good friends. She is from America, which is why I like to spend time in Palm Beach.”
He noted in the same interview that 2015 has been a special year. “The past six or seven months have been really nice. That part of my life is going great,” he added. “If everything off the golf course is good, it allows you to be better on it as well.”
This is the second engagement for the Irish golfer, who was previously engaged to tennis bombshell Caroline Wozniacki. Their relationship ended in May 2014 with McIlroy saying at the time: “The problem is mine. The wedding invitations issued at the weekend made me realize that I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails. I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves and thank her for the great times we’ve had. I will not be saying anything more about our relationship in any setting.”
According to Wozniacki, McIlroy broke it off over the phone. “I thought, at least, I would get a face-to-face or something, but there was nothing,” she told Graham Bensinger in a September 2014 interview. “It was just a phone call and then I did not hear from him again.”
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