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Saturday 10 December 2016

Rory McIlroy's low-key love Erica is looking well above par in China

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Erica Stoll
Erica Stoll

Rory McIlroy's romance with his new partner Erica Stoll is clearly lasting the distance.

The PGA employee (29) has been pictured for the first time cheering on McIlroy (26), at the HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai.

She looked the epitome of dressed-down chic in a pair of black leggings, a fitted white top, and a 'Pochette' Louis Vuitton cross-body bag in Damier Azur canvas, which sells for about €600.

She accessorised her casual look with bangles by Alex & Ani and diamond stud earrings.

The striking blonde bears more than a passing resemblance to his previous girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki.

But the golfing champ has obviously learned from the lessons of the past, given his openness about their ill-fated relationship, which ended when he called off their engagement in May 2014.

This time around, he has kept his cards much closer to his chest as he tries to keep his romance out of the spotlight.

He and the Florida native have been going out for about a year, but have kept things decidedly low-key when it comes to their relationship. Earlier this year, the Holywood native gushed about his love life, saying he was "very happy".

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

"She is from America, which is why I like to spend time in Spring Beach. She doesn't play golf, but she is involved," he said. "I am very happy in my love life."

He added, "If everything off the golf course is good, it allows you to be better on it as well."

The smitten couple rang in New Year's Eve in Mayo last year and spent some time in Dublin.

Erica Stoll
Erica Stoll

Erica has also been pictured in his native Co Down and Belfast as she spends time with his inner circle of family and friends.

Friends say Erica is keeping Rory grounded and in a good place. A source told the Sunday Independent: "He is really happy with her now, when we last spoke, things seemed to be going really well.

"She is down to earth, his mates like her and - something small, but I guess it is really important - is that she is very low-key.

"She has a really small social-media presence, she keeps herself to herself and is quite a private person. Let's put it this way, it doesn't look like there will be any repeat of what went on in the past."

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