Rory McIlroy’s wife Erica has given birth to the couple’s first child, the four-time major winner has revealed.
Golfer McIlroy revealed the happy news on Instagram, announcing the couple have named their daughter Poppy Kennedy McIlroy.
The little girl, who was born on Monday in Florida, ‘is the absolute love of our lives,’ the proud dad told fans.
New arrival: Rory McIlroy ‘s wife Erica has given birth to the couple’s first child, the four-time major winner revealed on Instagram on Thurday
Sharing a black and white photo of himself holding the newborn’s hand, the 31-year-old also thanked staff at Jupiter Medical Centre in Florida for their ‘amazing care.’
‘Poppy Kennedy McIlroy, born August 31st, 12:15pm. She is the absolute love of our lives. Mother and baby are doing great,’ Rory wrote.
‘Massive thank you to all the staff at Jupiter Medical Center and Dr Sasha Melendy for their amazing care
The golfer had said he was willing to withdraw from last week’s BMW Championship or the upcoming Tour Championship if Erica went into labour.
Parents: Golfer McIlroy revealed the happy news on Instagram, announcing the couple , who married in 2017, have named their daughter Poppy Kennedy McIlroy (Pictured in December )
He is due to compete at East Lake in Atlanta on Friday, although he did cancel his pre-tournament press conference on Thursday.
The news that Rory and Erica were expecting was only revealed over the weekend as the golfer said his daughter was due ‘any day now’.
The news was broken on The Golf Channel’s live broadcast of the BMW Championship on Friday evening, with the sportsman explaining that he was ready to pull out of the competition as soon as he got a call.
‘I didn’t think it was something that I really particularly needed to share out there. It’s a private matter, but we’re really excited and can’t wait for her to get here,’ he said on Friday.
Rory’s caddie Harry Diamond was ready to take a call and alert the golfer if Erica was in labour.
Playing: The golfer had said he was willing to withdraw from last week’s BMW Championship or the upcoming Tour Championship if Erica went into labour (pictured with Erica in 2015)
Rory explained that he felt his form had been slipping, but he had a good reason, telling The Golf Channel: ‘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.’
‘You’re going out to play and maybe not knowing whether you’re going to finish the round or not. Look, it’s definitely not an excuse. I just haven’t played well enough’.
‘But again, I keep talking about perspective. If you do play bad, I’ve got some awesome stuff coming up on the horizon, which is really cool, and it makes the bad days a lot easier to handle.’
He hinted that he could miss the PGA Tour’s season finale, explaining: ‘Definitely, just depending on what happens,’ asked about the prospect of staying at home this week. ‘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.’
Rory met American Erica in 2012 when she was working for the PGA of America and they married at a lavish £200k event at Ashworth Castle in Co Mayo in 2017, after getting engaged in 2015.
On the course: Rory explained last week that he felt his form had been slipping, but he had a good reason (pictured during the second round of the BMW Championship on August 28)
Speaking to the Daily Mail after their engagement, Rory gushed of Erica: ‘She is a low-key person but she brings a level of normality to everything. She has a calming presence and that’s not just on me, it is noticeable in any company.’
‘She has been a great influence on me and has brought such a great balance to my life, between who I am when people see me out in the public eye and who I am at home.’
Rory famously split with ex-fiancée Caroline Wozniacki in 2014, just days after sending out their wedding invitations.
Speaking about calling off their engagement, the golfer said he’d made the right decision, saying it had led him to ‘a good place’.
Reflecting on his romance with the Danish tennis player, he told the Irish Independent: ‘I thought at the time that being with someone that was in a similar position to you was the obvious answer.
‘But it isn’t, because you can never get away from it. You can never detach yourself and try to come back to the real world. And that’s why I feel in such a good place now.’
Love: Rory met American Erica in 2012 when she was working for the PGA of America and they married at a lavish £200k event at Ashworth Castle in Co Mayo in 2017