Rory McIlroy speaks for first time since divorce bombshell

Photo shows Rory McIlroy speaking to the media
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has spoken for the first time since news broke that he has filed for divorce from wife Erica Stoll. The 35-year-old was on press duties on Wednesday ahead of this week's PGA Championship at Valhalla.

The second major of the season arrives just days after it was announced that McIlroy was splitting from Stoll.

News of the separation broke on Monday after a divorce petition was lodged at Palm Beach County State Court in Florida. The couple have been married for seven years and share a daughter, Poppy Kennedy McIlroy, aged 3.

Read more: Rory McIlroy files for divorce from wife Erica after seven years of marriage

Read more: Who is Rory McIlroy's wife Erica Stoll? How they met, got engaged and married

McIlroy was spotted without his wedding ring during practice on Tuesday, but appeared in relaxed mood as he joked with friends and caddie Harry Diamond.

He heads into this week's PGA Championship in top form after winning last week's Wells Fargo Championship, but his major drought dates back to 2014.

McIlroy held his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday, but it started with a warning that he would not be discussing his private life.

In a brief media conference which lasted just over eight minutes, one reporter asked McIlroy how he was doing on a 'personal' level ahead of the tournament.

McIlroy - who will play alongside Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose in the first two rounds - responded: "I'm ready to play this week."

He added: "I feel good. I am coming to a venue where I've had some success at before."

McIlroy's last major success came 10 years ago at the same venue as this week's PGA Championship.

Reflecting on that win at Valhalla, McIlroy said: "Sometimes I struggle to remember what I did yesterday. When I look back it’s hard to rekindle those memories and feelings. For me, it’s all about confidence and momentum, it’s all about trying to keep that going."

McIlroy's team issued a statement on Monday confirming the move and the Northern Ireland golfer's wish for a respectful process.

It read: "Rory McIlroy's communications team confirmed today that a divorce has been filed. 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."

For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here and sign up to our daily newsletter here.