Rory McIlroy Subtly Made A Move Right Out Of Tiger Woods’ Divorce Playbook

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It appears that Rory McIlroy was truthful when he asserted that there’s no animosity between him and fellow golf legend Tiger Woods. Rumors had circulated about a rift between the two, allegedly because Woods blocked McIlroy from rejoining the player-director board of the PGA. However, McIlroy, the Northern Ireland native, clarified that “there’s no strain” in their relationship. He even seems to be taking a page from Woods’ book by using similar legal strategies in his own divorce proceedings from his wife Erica Stoll, following seven years of marriage.

McIlroy filed for divorce in May 2024, just before competing in the PGA Championship. While the details of the split remain private, the court documents indicate that the couple will enforce their prenuptial agreement, and their marriage is described as “irretrievably broken,” according to The New York Post. McIlroy’s manager, Sean O’Flaherty, issued a statement expressing McIlroy’s hope for a peaceful separation. “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,” the statement read, as reported by AP News.

In an effort to ensure a smooth process, McIlroy has reportedly enlisted the help of Woods’ legal team. This attorney, well-versed in handling high-profile divorces, is expected to manage the proceedings discreetly.

 

What do Tiger Woods, Joe Jonas, Gisele Bündchen, and now Rory McIlroy have in common?

Besides their substantial wealth, they all chose the same lawyer for their divorces. Thomas Sasser, a managing partner at Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A., based in West Palm Beach, Florida, where McIlroy and Erica Stoll live with their daughter, Poppy, is their go-to attorney.

Sasser is known for helping high-profile clients navigate their divorces with minimal media exposure. While Woods’ divorce was highly public due to his cheating scandals, Bündchen had a relatively quick and quiet divorce from Tom Brady. Sasser’s reputation for discretion is a significant factor in his popularity among celebrities. “One of the reasons he gets those high-profile divorces is the exact reason you had to call me to learn about him,” fellow lawyer John Schutz told Palm Beach Post. “He won’t give the press a quote; he doesn’t talk about his clients, and he doesn’t talk about his cases.” Sasser prefers to avoid trials unless absolutely necessary, as demonstrated in NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon’s divorce, which ended amicably despite high stakes. McIlroy’s choice of attorney reflects his desire to maintain a positive reputation in the sports world.

Why did Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll divorce? Andrew Redington/Getty Images The news of Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll’s divorce came as a shock to their community in Florida. A source told People that the separation was unexpected as there were no visible signs of trouble. “Rory is fairly down to earth for such a big star. However, he is very private and can be nice to be around but he just does NOT love the limelight,” the insider said. Another source noted the absence of rumors, leaving everyone puzzled about the reasons behind the split. “We are wondering what happened,” they said.

According to an insider who spoke with Us Weekly, the couple grew apart over time. “A point of contention in Rory’s marriage with Erica was that Erica was lonely in their marriage. Rory was a hard person to be married to,” the source revealed, adding that the birth of their daughter, Poppy, significantly shifted their priorities. “She knew what she was getting into with his profession, but once they had Poppy, things really changed and she had a new perspective,” the insider added. Erica’s focus on Poppy and Rory’s constant travel led to a breaking point. Despite his status as the number one golfer, McIlroy’s marriage was not a hole-in-one.