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A look back at Rory McIlroy’s dramatic dating history – amid his divorce from wife Erica Stoll

Rory McIlroy’s love life has become as much of a spectacle as his golfing career over the years.

Earlier this week, the Down native filed for divorce from his wife Erica Stoll, after seven years of marriage.

The divorce filing, which described their marriage as “irretrievably broken”, requests shared custody of their three-year-old daughter Poppy.

It also asks for their prenuptial agreement, signed weeks before their 2017 wedding, to be validated and enforced.

Rory, 35, was recently valued to be worth $380million.

Before he started dating Erica in 2014, the top athlete was romantically linked to a string of women throughout his career.

Amid his shock divorce, let’s take a look back at Rory’s dramatic dating history:

Holly Sweeney

Rory reportedly broke the heart of his childhood sweetheart, Holly Sweeney — now Holly Mason.

The couple met as teenagers at Holywood Golf Club, and dated on-and-off for six years.

In his 2011 documentary Rory’s Major Breakthrough, he gushed over Holly and said: “She knows me better than basically anyone else in this world does, apart from my parents. And someone like that with you is very grounding.”

However, the golfer ended his relationship with Holly after six years – and despite insisting it was an “amicable” split, the Ulster rugby cheerleader revealed it was quite the opposite.

Shortly after he split from Holly, Rory started dating tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

In 2011, Holly told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “Rory ran away with Caroline. I never thought he would do this to me. It killed me – I went away to Dubai as soon as we split up so I didn’t have to look or think about it.”

“I always suspected he had a thing for her. He’s always been a big fan of tennis. When he was watching the women’s games he always said he fancied her but I didn’t take it that seriously – little did I know.”

Caroline Wozniacki

Rory and former tennis world champion, Caroline Wozniacki, began dating shortly after he split from his ex-girlfriend Holly [Sweeney] in 2011.

The golfer proposed to the athlete in December 2013 after nearly three years together, but broke off their engagement the following May during an alleged three-minute call.

Then aged 25 and 23 respectively, Rory ended their engagement six months prior to their big day.

The golfer later opened up about their split and said: “There is no right way to end a relationship that has been so important to two people.”

“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.”

Nadia Forde

After his split from Caroline, Rory was romantically linked to Irish model Nadia Forde.

In July 2014, Nadia opened up about her relationship with the golfer after they were spotted leaving a Dublin nightclub together at 3am.

She was photographed the following day in Rory’s home town of Holywood with fellow model Katie Larmour.

Nadia told the Sunday Mirror at the time: “I met Rory last year through friends. He’s a lovely guy.”

“The bottom line with me and Rory is we have mutual friends who introduced us and we’ve been in each other’s company.”

Meghan Markle

That same year, Rory sparked romance rumours with Meghan Markle – the now-wife of Prince Harry.

According to Tom Bower’s tell-all book, titled ‘Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors’, Meghan first met Rory after he “unexpectedly” nominated her for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014.

Meghan insisted he come to her friend’s apartment in New York to dump the ice on her himself – and he happily obliged.

After posting their Ice Bucket Challenge video, which raised funds for motor neurone disease research, the pair went for a drink at the Fitzpatrick Hotel, where Rory was staying.

It’s understood they were spotted by the hotel’s owner, John Fitzpatrick, who invited them to join him at dinner at Cipriani.

Meghan, who was dating chef Cory Vitiello at the time, later gushed about the sports star on her blog ‘The Tig’, which was deleted ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018.

In a blog post, the actress wrote: “Ah yes. Rory McIlroy. THE Rory McIlroy. Whispered (and shouted) to be the foremost golfer in the world, loved by Tiger, respected by Palmer, and dumper of frigid water on to my lone head for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. That Rory McIlroy.”

“He is a force who has the propensity to actually work hard and play hard — relishing intense practices to substantiate his title, embracing nights of sipping
Opus One (his bold and impressive choice of wine) and indulging in group dinners at Cipriani — for the balance, of course.”

“And yet, beyond his work/play ethic, the most endearing quality of this man is his character – as real and honest as they come, appreciating a simple smile, never shunning a fan photo, enjoying a plate of pasta with veal ragu, and expressing a love for his parents that is rarely seen in men his age.”

“Or at any age, to be honest. He is not just the real deal… he is real. And perhaps that is what makes him even more cherished.”

According to Bower, Meghan’s chef boyfriend Cory questioned her relationship with Rory at the time, but the Suits star insisted they were just friends, and “he believed her.”

Later that year, Meghan used her connections to nab a speaker role at the One Young World conference in Dublin.

Ivan Nikolov/

“Excited about her trip, she posted a message to an Irish friend of McIlroy: ‘Lock something down. I head out there October 14-17. Have a wonderful night X MM,’” Bower wrote.

Meghan travelled to Ireland with her boyfriend Cory, but went for a solo dinner with Rory at Fade Street Social during their time in Dublin.

Their dinner date was written about in the press at the time, and a newspaper claimed Meghan looked “smitten” with Rory – which “annoyed” her Canadian boyfriend.

Meghan played Rachel Zane in Suits for seven seasons

In the book, Bower alleged Cory once again “challenged” Meghan over her friendship with Rory, but she said they were just friends and “once more he believed her.”

It’s believed Meghan’s agent later contacted the newspaper for a correction, and the following day they printed a story about her and Cory looking “madly in love” in Ireland.

Erica Stoll

The professional golfer started dating Erica Stoll in 2014, months after he broke off his previous engagement to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

The former couple tied the knot in a star-studded ceremony at Ashford Castle in 2017, and welcomed their daughter Poppy three years later.

But after seven years of marriage, Rory filed for divorce from Erica in a Florida court on Monday.

His manager Sean O’Flaherty said in a statement: “Rory McIlroy’s communications team confirmed today that a divorce has been filed. They stressed Rory’s desire to ensure this difficult time is as respectful and amicable as possible.”

The divorce filing, which described their marriage as “irretrievably broken”, requests shared custody of their daughter Poppy, and asks for a parenting plan to be established.

It also asks for their prenuptial agreement, signed weeks before their 2017 wedding, to be validated and enforced.

Rory, 35, was recently valued to be worth $380million.

The sports star’s attorney is listed as Thomas Sasser, the same person who represented Tiger Woods when his wife famous divorced him back in 2010.

Their split has come as a huge shock, as Erica was often seen cheering Rory on during his tournaments.

However, she was noticeably absent from the Masters in Augusta last month.

The mother-of-one was heavily involved in the world of golf before meeting her husband, and worked for the American PGA since 2008.

Erica and Rory met four years later during the 2012 Ryder Cup.

The pair began dating in 2014, after the golfer split from his ex-fiancée Carolina Wozniacki.

The couple, who made their romance official in 2015, have been notoriously private since the beginning of their romantic relationship.

Their wedding at Ashford Castle in 2017 was a star-studded affair, with guests including Stevie Wonder, Niall Horan, Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin and Jamie Dornan.


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