Rory McIlroy was the hottest golfer in the world before COVID-19 interrupted the PGA Tour’s 2020 season. In his six starts of the current campaign – before the shutdown, the Northern Ireland superstar had posted a top-5 finish in each (T3, 1, T3, T5, 5, T5), highlighted by a win at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
Since returning to action in late May, though, McIlroy has been utterly average, at best. In eight starts since the reboot, the reigning PGA Tour MVP has failed to post a single top-10 finish: T32, T41, T11, T32, T47, T33, T65 and T12 – by far, the longest top-10 dry spell of his career.
We may now have a reason for this perplexing slump: Rory and his wife, Erica Stoll, are expecting their first child any day.
After his third round at the BMW Championship, the 31-year-old confirmed what had been mentioned during the TV broadcast.
“She is, yes. We’re about to be parents very soon, so we’re obviously super excited,” said McIlroy, when asked about the news. “Yeah, we’ve been sharing the news with friends and family, obviously, but I didn’t think it was something that I really particularly needed to share out here.
“It’s a private matter, but we’re really excited and can’t wait for her to get here.”
McIlroy cited the news as one of the reasons he’s been “wandering” the last few events.
“Yeah, I think from the get-go my mind has been wandering the last few weeks, and now you guys sort of know the reason why,” said McIlroy, who has fallen to 12th in the FedExCup standings.
His caddie, Harry Diamond, keeps a phone close by in case the call comes in, according to McIlroy.
“I’m just waiting for the phone call,” said McIlroy. “I was waiting for a phone call last week and it didn’t come, and then Harry has been keeping his phone in his pocket just to make sure, but nothing as of yet.”
And if it comes?
“I’m out of here,” said McIlroy, who said they are expecting a girl. “I’m going to play in many more Tour Championships, and it’s only going to be the birth of your first child once.
“That trumps anything else.”
If McIlroy were to drop out of the Tour Championship, the field would be cut to 29. There would be no replacement.