Rory McIlroy returned to the golf course for the PGA Championship 2024 after filing for divorce from his estranged wife, Erica Stoll, earlier this week.

The professional golfer, 35, ditched his wedding ring and tee’d off at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville on around 8 a.m. EST on Thursday, May 16. At the time of publication, he was two under par through six rounds.

Us Weekly previously confirmed that McIlroy filed for divorce from Stoll, 36, in Florida on Monday, May 13, claiming that their marriage was “irretrievably broken.” Shortly after the news broke, McIlroy spoke out about the split.

“Rory McIlroy’s communications team confirmed today that a divorce has been filed,” McIlroy’s spokeswoman told Irish Star on Tuesday, May 14. “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.”

McIlroy met Stoll in 2012 when he was dating tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, from whom he split in 2014 after three years together. At the time, Stoll was working as a PGA transport official at the Ryder Cup, and she helped McIlroy make it to the tournament on time after he overslept. The two got engaged in Paris in 2015 and tied the knot at a castle in Ireland in April 2017. They later welcomed daughter Poppy in August 2020.

In May 2015, McIlroy explained to The Times of London that he had known Stoll “for three years and we are good friends,” gushing that he was “very happy in my love life.”

He also noted that his joy in his personal life translated to an enhanced performance when golfing. “If everything off the golf course is good, it allows you to be better on it as well,” he said.

That same year, McIlroy raved about his relationship with Stoll while visiting Facebook’s Dublin headquarters.

“For me, Erica brings such a level of normality to everything. She has a calming presence, a sereneness and that’s not just on me; it is noticeable in any company. She never wants to be the center of attention and is always very comfortable in the background,” he shared at the time. “She has been a great influence on me and has given such a great balance to my life, between who I am when people see me out here and who I am at home.”

Two years later, McIlroy opened up about his connection with Stoll in the early days of their relationship.

“The thing I love about it is that we were friends before anything romantic happened,” he told the Irish Independent in January 2017. “We met when she was working for the PGA of America and renting a condo in Palm Beach, and I found it refreshing being with someone who was living a normal life rather than, ‘Oh! My jet is 30 minutes late.’”

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