Erica Stoll supports husband Rory McIlroy on course on his return to action after US Open hell

Erica Stoll was on the course at the Scottish Open as Rory McIlroy made his return to action after US Open heartache
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Erica Stoll was out on the course showing her full support for husband Rory McIlroy as he made his return to action following his US Open collapse. The Holywood man enjoyed a sensational start in the Genesis Scottish Open and is only one shot off the lead as he bids to defend his championship.

With his wife nearby, McIlroy shot a superb 64 on the opening day at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. He sits just one shot from co-leaders Li Haotong and Max Kieffer at six-under par but is joined by seven other golfers at -5 for the opening round, including McIlroy's Ryder Cup teammate and winner Tommy Fleetwood.

The world number two chipped in for an eagle on the third hole and also registered five birdies, but missed good chances on three of his last five holes to move up any further.

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McIlroy's wife Erica was in attendance on Thursday to watch the golfer in action for the first time in months. The pair had filed for divorce back in May citing that their marriage was 'irretrievably broken', but have since reconciled.

The Down native explained his decision to call off the divorce, saying at the time: "There have been rumours about my personal life recently, which is unfortunate. Responding to each rumour is a fool's game. Over the past weeks, Erica and I have realised that our best future was as a family together. Thankfully, we have resolved our differences and look forward to a new beginning."

McIlroy has enjoyed a rollercoaster couple of weeks on and off the course with Thursday being the first time he's played since the US Open heartbreak that saw the four-time major winner drop two shots on the back nine to lose the lead to Bryson DeChambeau.

Showing glimpses of his quality in Scotland, the world number two chipped in for an eagle on the third hole, his 12th of the day, and also recorded five birdies, but missed good chances on three of his last five holes.

Rory McIlroy and wife Erica pictured with some of the Ryder Cup stars
Rory McIlroy and wife Erica pictured with some of the Ryder Cup stars -Credit:dianedonald/Instagram

“I hit a couple of shots over the first few holes that I haven’t seen in practice over the last 10 days so it was a bit of a reminder that golf isn’t as easy as sometimes I think it is,” McIlroy said with a smile.

“But then I really started to feel good. Especially on the front nine, our back nine, I started to hit some good drives, some good iron shots.

“I gave myself plenty of chances on that back nine and actually felt like I left a couple out there as well. Overall a good start, especially after the scrappy start over the first six or seven holes.”

McIlroy briefly held a two-shot lead with five holes to play in the US Open but bogeyed three of the last four, missing from two feet and six inches on the 16th and three feet and nine inches on the last to finish a shot behind Bryson DeChambeau.

“I’m not going to let three or four holes cloud my judgement in terms of how good I’m playing,” the 35-year-old added.

“It wasn’t just the US Open. I played well at the Canadian Open and at Memorial and the US PGA and Quail Hollow. My game has been in good shape and it was in good shape coming in here.

“It’s just a matter of going out there and focusing on the task at hand and not letting your mind wander too much. I felt like I did a good job of that today.”

McIlroy was joined on five under par by Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood, who was delighted to have long-term caddie Ian Finnis back on the bag after undergoing open-heart surgery earlier this year.

“It feels great,” Fleetwood said after a round containing five birdies and no bogeys.

“It feels nice to have had a really good round in his first week, for him more than anything. We did a great job. Everything sort of flowed, really, today. He made a couple of great decisions, so it’s like he’s not been away.”

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