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Rory McIlroy, wife Erica welcome baby girl

3 Min Read


Poppy Kennedy McIlroy was born at Jupiter Medical Center on Monday

    Written by Cameron Morfit @CMorfitPGATOUR

    Rory McIlroy reflects on becoming new dad and TOUR Championship

    Rory McIlroy is a dad.

    Poppy Kennedy McIlroy was born Monday at 12:15 p.m. at Jupiter Medical Center, where the 18-time PGA TOUR winner lives in South Florida. Baby Poppy and mom Erica Stoll are “doing great,” McIlroy said in his post breaking the news on Instagram and Twitter.

    “She is the absolute love of our lives,” he wrote.

    McIlroy, the defending FedExCup champion, flew Thursday morning to the TOUR Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. Exhausted and elated, he took a break from practicing to reflect on being a new father.

    “There's so much admiration for the mother, what they go through,” he said. “And it's just amazing that this – you feel like you get to know your baby while she's still in her mother's belly, but to go from not having met this person to having unconditional love for them, from one minute to the next, is just – there's nothing like it in the world.

    “… It's probably the best part of being a human being, and I'm glad that I got to experience it.”

    He’s now trying to prepare for Friday’s first round while also catching his breath.

    “I mean, emotionally drained, right?” he said. “We got her home yesterday and trying to get her settled into the – it's nice in the hospital. You've got so much help and all the nurses are around and they did a phenomenal job. You don't appreciate that side of things, as well. And then you're handed your child and they're like, ‘See you later,’ and they don't come with an instruction manual.

    “Look, every parent has to sort of go through it, and we're going through it,” he added. “Thankfully Erica has her mom and sister with her at the minute, so she's got plenty of help and I feel a little better leaving and coming here to play this week.”

    McIlroy’s recent results have been substandard. He is 12th in the FedExCup, without a top-10 finish since the TOUR came back in June. People wondered about the dip in form, but he hadn’t told anyone he and Erica were about to become first-time parents. The news broke during the third round of the BMW Championship last Saturday.

    “Yeah, I think from the get-go my mind has been wandering the last few weeks,” he said from Olympia Fields in Chicago, where he finished T12 despite being on alert for a phone call from Erica. “And now you guys sort of know the reason why.”

    McIlroy will begin the TOUR Championship on Friday at 3 under par, seven behind top-seeded Dustin Johnson. He came from five back to win last year. He found it hard to get on the plane to Atlanta on Thursday morning, but insists he’s ready to play. Erica has her mom and sister at the house, and Rory’s parents live nearby, as well.

    “It's been hard to think about golf the last few days,” he said, “just because I've been so focused on making sure that everything is okay at home. But yeah, I mean, maybe this is what I needed, just for everything to happen and go well.

    “I haven't played my best since coming back out since sort of post-COVID,” he added. “But yeah, maybe things just will fall into place. It's already been the best week of my life, and this would obviously just be the icing on the cake.”

    Cameron Morfit began covering the PGA TOUR with Sports Illustrated in 1997, and after a long stretch at Golf Magazine and joined PGATOUR.COM as a Staff Writer in 2016. Follow Cameron Morfit on Twitter.

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