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McIlroy files for divorce in week of US PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy has filed for divorce from his wife Erica in the week of the US PGA Championship in Kentucky.

Court records show the Northern Irishman submitted a “petition for dissolution of marriage” in Palm Beach County in Florida on Monday.

They married in 2017 and have one child together, Poppy Kennedy McIlroy, who was born in 2020.

A spokesperson for the golfer confirmed the news and “stressed Rory’s desire to ensure this difficult time is as respectful and amicable as possible”.

The pair met in 2012 when Erica was working for the PGA of America at the Ryder Cup and McIlroy credited her with helping him get a police escort to the course after misreading his tee time for the Sunday singles.

McIlroy made it to the course with just minutes to spare and went on to beat Keegan Bradley as Europe pulled off the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ by recovering from 10-6 behind to retain the trophy.

McIlroy, 35, filed for divorce the day after winning the Wells Fargo Championship for the fourth time at Quail Hollow.

The world number two is scheduled to speak to the media at 18:00 BST on Wednesday at Valhalla as he prepares for the second men’s major of the year, which starts on Thursday.

He won his fourth and last major to date at the Louisville course in 2014.

Analysis from BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter:

This news will shock many observers of the game, given the way that McIlroy has made a priority of family life since marrying Erica seven years ago.

Only recently he talked about how his perspective had altered from the days prior to his marriage. “I lived and died by every result,” he said. “It’s a little different today where I’m married, have a child and after the round you’re just a father.”

From a golfing perspective the 35-year-old has previously shown that he is able to prosper during difficult times in his personal life. In 2014 he split with then fiancee Caroline Wozniacki and in the same week won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

McIlroy then embarked on his most successful summer winning The Open and US PGA Championship.

Only last Sunday he completed a stunning victory at the Wells Fargo Championship a day before submitting his divorce papers. He won, playing alongside Shane Lowry, at the Zurich Classic in his previous outing earlier this month.

McIlroy has been seen on the practice range on Tuesday as he prepares to try and land his fifth major title. –