Belfast Telegraph

Rory McIlroy's old flame Holly gives her blessing to marriage to Erica

By Allan Preston

The ex-girlfriend of golfing star Rory McIlroy has spoken of her delight at his upcoming nuptials on Saturday.

Holly Sweeney (26) added that she had already met the Rory's American fiancée, Erica Stoll, and clearly approved the match, describing her as "dead on".

Ms Sweeney and the Holywood golfer were an item for some six years before splitting in 2011.

She celebrated her own wedding last year to American-born Belfast Giants star Jeff Mason (35), and the couple have a young son named Max.

In an interview with the Sunday World, she said she remained on good terms with her old flame.

"Of course I'd wish him well, we're both very amicable."

Regarding Rory's bride-to-be, she added: "She's lovely. I've met her a couple of times here, she's really dead on."

Despite the friendly vibes, she revealed she wasn't invited to the wedding.

"Why would I be, I wouldn't really invite many exes to my wedding either, would you?" she said.

It was revealed exclusively by the Belfast Telegraph that McIlroy's wedding will take place on Saturday at the luxurious Ashford Castle in Co Mayo.

The wedding venue is already associated with Hollywood glamour after it featured in the 1952 blockbuster The Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

Ms Sweeney insists she has had no inside information on the details of the hotly anticipated ceremony.

"I have no idea what's happening about it. It must be very hush hush," she commented.

"We're now apart the same length of time we were together.

"We've both moved on with our lives and I wish him the best."

The "wedding of the decade" as it has already become known is expected to see a guest list including other golfing superstars as well as famous friends like popstar Niall Horan from One Direction and Belfast boxer Carl Frampton.

After missing out recently on a Masters win in Augusta, McIlroy (27) started a media frenzy after hinting in an interview the wedding would take place soon.

"I am excited," he said.

"It's a great time in my life and it would have been nice to walk down the aisle in the green jacket!

"It's a great time in our lives and it's all about that over the next couple of weeks.

"I'll come back at the Players golf tournament refreshed and a married man and start a new chapter in my life."

The golfer was previously engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki but suffered from cold feet and broke the engagement off in May 2014 after the invitations were sent out.

At the time he said the invitations had made him realise "I wasn't ready for all that marriage entails".

McIlroy met his new bride-to-be, Erica Stoll, when she was working for the PGA of America.

Friends long before they became an item, she famously raised the alarm just in time when the golfer mixed up his timings for a singles match in the 2012 Ryder Cup, managing to get to the course just in time.

McIlroy was expected to be in Miami Beach over the weekend with his closest friends for his stag party.

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