Rory McIlroy Says He Plays Well When He Has ‘A Lot of Stuff Going On’ Days Before Erica Stoll Divorce

Rory McIlroy Says He Plays Well When He Has A Lot of Stuff Going On Days Before Erica Stoll Divorce
Rory McIlroy Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Rory McIlroy opened up about how he compartmentalizes his life off the course one day before filing for divorce from Erica Stoll.

“Getting inside the ropes for that four or five hours or whatever it is a day, it’s a nice escape from everything else that’s going on in the world of golf,” McIlroy, 35, said during a Sunday, May 12, press conference when asked about the PGA Tour Board. “I don’t mind it. I’ve always been able to compartmentalize pretty well. I seem to, for whatever reason, play very good golf whenever I have a lot of stuff going on.”

McIlroy, who won the 2024 Wells Fargo Championship, continued, “I don’t know if I need that, just to really, when I get on the course really focus on what I’m doing out there, but, yeah, it seems to work.”

Us Weekly confirmed that one day after his win, McIlroy filed to end his and Stoll’s marriage after seven years together. His divorce docs reportedly state that their marriage was irretrievably broken and that he and Stoll had a prenup, per the New York Post.

Pro Golfer Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll’s Relationship Timeline

Per ESPN, McIlroy employed Thomas J. Sasser, the same lawyer who represented Tiger Woods in his divorce from his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren, in 2010.

McIlroy broke his silence on the split on Tuesday, May 14. “Rory McIlroy’s communications team confirmed today that a divorce has been filed,” a spokeswoman for McIlroy told Irish Star. “They stressed Rory’s desire to ensure this difficult time is as respectful and amicable as possible. He will not be making any further comment.”

Rory McIlroy Says He Plays Well When He Has A Lot of Stuff Going On Days Before Erica Stoll Divorce
Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Back in 2012, Stoll met McIlroy when she was working as a PGA transport official at the Ryder Cup, helping the golfer get to the tournament after he overslept. At the time, McIlroy was dating tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, whom he got engaged to in 2013 but allegedly called it quits with via phone call months later. McIlroy and Stoll began dating not long after his split from Wozniacki, 33.

“I have met someone new,” he told The Times of London in May 2015. “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.”

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki’s Relationship Timeline: The Way They Were

McIlroy noted that he was “very happy” with his romantic life at the time, adding, “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.”

McIlroy went on to pop the question to Stoll in December 2015, and the twosome exchanged vows in April 2017. Their ceremony was reportedly attended by several A-listers, including Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan and Chris Martin. The duo welcomed their daughter, Poppy, in August 2020.