Friday 30 September 2016

Rory McIlroy's fiancée Erica Stoll shows off Barbados tan as she cheers him on at The K Club

Sean O'Grady

Published 20/05/2016 | 08:28

Erica Stoll looks on during the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 19, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Erica Stoll looks on during the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 19, 2016 in Straffan, Ireland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy’s fiancée Erica Stoll. Photo: Mark Condren
Rory McIlroy, pictured, and Padraig Harrington also called on Portmarnock Golf Club to open their membership to women, a decision which could enable the return of the Irish Open to the North County Dublin links for the first time since 2003 (PA)
Rory McIlroy at the Irish Open Golf Championship Pro-Am at the K Club in Straffan, Co Kildare yesterday Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
BIG PLANS: Rory McIlroy pictured with his girlfriend Erica Stoll. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)
Erica Stoll looks onduring the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 19, 2016 in Straffan, . (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The weather has improved greatly in recent days, but Rory McIlroy’s fiancée Erica Stoll was taking no chances at the K Club for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

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The 29-year-old PGA employee was wrapped up against the elements and kept a low profile throughout yesterday as she watched her partner on the opening day of the country’s premier golf tournament.

They first met at the Ryder Cup in Illinois in September 2012 and began dating in 2014. Former world number one Rory, from Holywood, Co Down, popped the question to the blonde beauty in Paris last year.

The couple have mostly kept their relationship away from prying eyes, but Erica is regularly seen at the 27-year-old’s tournaments around the world.

Erica Stoll looks onduring the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 19, 2016 in Straffan, . (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Erica Stoll looks onduring the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation at The K Club on May 19, 2016 in Straffan, . (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Day one got off to a cracking start for Rory who finished two shots off the lead in front of almost 13,000 spectators.

After a string of poor results in the competition in recent years, he is hoping this will be his year.

“To win here, no matter what the circumstances are, to win the Irish Open would be something that would be very special, and I’ve got off to a great start towards doing that this week,” he said.

Read more: Rory McIlroy soaks up the sun in Barbados with fiancée Erica Stoll

Rory McIlroy’s fiancée Erica Stoll. Photo: Mark Condren
Rory McIlroy’s fiancée Erica Stoll. Photo: Mark Condren

One Direction’s Niall Horan joined Rory on the course after taking part in the charity pro-am event on Wednesday alongside rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll and snooker star Dennis Taylor.

Artane pals Justine O’Sullivan (26) and Lorraine Connolly (28) took the day off work to enjoy the golf.

“We got here just before noon. I took the day off work to come down,” said Justine.

“We came for the beer and to see Rory McIlroy as well. This is our first year. We’re used to going to Oxegen. This is a bit like Oxegen but it’s a little more civilised.”

Rory McIlroy at the Irish Open Golf Championship Pro-Am at the K Club in Straffan, Co Kildare yesterday Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Rory McIlroy at the Irish Open Golf Championship Pro-Am at the K Club in Straffan, Co Kildare yesterday Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ciara Lynch, from Meath, said: “I’ve been down here since 7am. I saw Niall Horan and all the screaming young ladies following him around. It’s much busier today.”

BIG PLANS: Rory McIlroy pictured with his girlfriend Erica Stoll. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)
BIG PLANS: Rory McIlroy pictured with his girlfriend Erica Stoll. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

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