Rory McIlroy speaks for the first time about Paris proposal to Erica Stoll and a 2016 wedding
Rory McIlroy has opened for the first time about proposing to his girlfriend of one year, Erica Stoll.
The Co Down native (26) surprised everyone when he popped the question in Paris to PGA employee Erica (25), whom he has been dating since 2014. And he's clearly smitten with his new fiancee as the former world number one was uncharacteristically candid about getting down on one knee and praised his other half for being a "calming influence."
"Erica has been around me quite a lot at tournaments but we have really just tried to keep it low key,” he said during an appearance Facebook's Dublin headquarters.
"She is a very low key person, not the kind to broadcast stuff, but that side of my life is really good just now. We are excited, our parents are excited so it is a really happy time.
"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 centre of attention and is always very comfortable in the background.
"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."
McIlroy was previously engaged to Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and called it off in May 2014. He began a relationship with Stoll, who famously came to his Ryder Cup rescue in 2012, in November 2014.
The golf superstar said it's easier to "go out and play" because he's content in his personal life.
"I’m happy; again it is about balance, and everyone around me is happy. That makes it so much easier to go out and play because that side of things is calm."
He had planned on proposing in Paris for the last number of months, but was apprehensive about returning there after the terror attacks in November.
"We had planned to go to Paris since May, we were always going to go," he added. "Then what happened made us unsure what we were going to do. So we decided to go and if we didn’t like it, if we didn’t like the mood of the place, didn’t feel comfortable, we would go somewhere else.
"When we got there and walked around, it felt great. There were searches going into a few shops and a bit more of a security presence around but people were just getting on with things.
"So we felt comfortable but I still thought at least at the start of the trip, it might make the rest of the trip even better. So we went out for dinner and that was that. It was a nice trip, a nice way to end the year."
They might be in the midst of a whirlwind romance, but Rory said they won't be walking up the aisle in 2016. "We've nothing planned right now and there is definitely no rush. It is going to be such a busy year and I don't think anything like that is going to happen."