McIlroy announces engagement

Rory McIlroy has announced his engagement to girlfriend Erica Stoll.

The Northern Irishman popped the question to the 28-year-old American during a short holiday in Paris last week.

The news of their engagement broke when Stoll turned up at a function in Belfast last week wearing a diamond ring.

Stoll works for the PGA of America, and first met McIlroy at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah, where she helped him make his singles match after he had confused his tee-time.

McIlroy, who famously broke up with Caroline Wozniacki in 2014 after the wedding invitations had been sent out, said: “Erica has obviously been around quite a lot, at tournaments this year, but we have really just tried to keep it low key. She is a very low-key person, not the kind to broadcast stuff, but that side of my life is obviously really good just now. We are excited, our parents are excited, so it is a really happy time.”

He added: “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 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.”

Asked about the circumstances in which he popped the question, McIlroy said: “I wouldn’t say I did it in the traditional way. We had planned to go to Paris since May. Then what happened [the terrorist attacks] a few weeks before made us unsure. But when we got there it felt great. People were just getting on with things and I thought the proposal might make the trip even better. So we went out for dinner and that was that. It was a special way to end the year.”

The couple have not yet set a date for the wedding.