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Rory McIlroy's childhood sweetheart reveals opinion of golfer's bride-to-be

ShowbizBy Eugene Masterson
Rory McIlroy and fiancée Erica Stoll during the 2016 Ryder Cup
Rory McIlroy and fiancée Erica Stoll during the 2016 Ryder Cup

Rory McIlroy's ex-girlfriend Holly Sweeney has revealed that she is delighted her childhood sweetheart is tying the knot and has met the golfer's "dead on" fiancée a couple of times.

Holly (26) split from Rory in the summer of 2011, having been together for six years since the age of 14.

However, the pair have remained on good terms and Holly was even introduced to Rory's new love Erica Stoll when she visited Ireland.

Rory and Erica are due to get married on Saturday, followed by a massive party in Ashford Castle in Co Mayo.

Speaking to the Sunday World, Holly said she is happy for the pair.

"Of course I'd wish him well with his big day. She's lovely," Holly exclaims.

"I've met her a couple of times here, she's really dead on."

Holly Sweeney

Holly married Ameri­can-born hockey star Jeff Mason (35), who plays for the Belfast Giants, last year and the couple have a young son, Max.

She works as a gym­nastics coach with her company Gym Fun, in the University of Ulster.

Rory has previously revealed how he regu­larly talks to Holly on the phone and how they have retained a close bond.

However, Holly said she didn't get an invita­tion to the big wedding.

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

"I have no idea what's happening about it, I would be of no use to you," she said. "It must be very hush hush.

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

Holly is one of three women Rory is known to have had relationships or flings with, and the other two now also have partners.

Rory (27) dated tennis star Caroline Wozniacki from 2011 to 2014 and got engaged to her on December 31, 2013.

On May 21, 2014, they announced they had end­ed the engagement and were splitting up.

Caroline later revealed Rory had ended the rela­tionship in a brief phone call and has not contact­ed her since.

"The problem is mine," Rory admitted three years ago.

"The wedding invita­tions issued at the week­end made me realise that I wasn't ready for all that marriage entails.

"I wish Caroline all the happiness she deserves."

Holly previously said that Rory left her for Caroline, having admitted he fan­cied her when he saw her play at a tennis game and then "ran away" with her.

Caroline (26), who lives in the United States, is now dat­ing American basketball player David Lee.

Rory was also linked to Dublin model Nadia Forde, although she has always insisted they were "just friends" de­spite being seen on sev­eral dates.

Nadia (27), is now in a relationship with Welsh rugby player Dominic Day (31) and the couple are living in Melbourne.

All three of the wom­en Rory has previously been linked to are now attached to men who tow­er above the 5'8'' golfer - David is 6'9'', Dominic is 6'6'', while Jeff is 5'10''.

Following her split with Rory, Caroline - who is 5'10'' - had several sly digs at his height, including one remark: "I would like a taller guy so I can wear high heels.

"I look for someone who is honest, fun to be around and doesn't take himself too seriously."

Saturday's guest list is being kept top se­cret but Mullingar man Niall Horan is believed to be among those on it.

The One Direction star acted as caddy for Rory at last year's pre-Mas­ters Par 3 competition at Augusta.

Also believed to be invited is Belfast box­er Carl Frampton, who Rory has seen in action several times.

Several of golf's biggest names are expected to fly in for the big day.

And Rory is sparing no expense on his dream nuptials. In 2015, Forbes estimated he has a for­tune of €45 million.

His family, including proud parents Gerry and Rosie, are also travelling to Cong for the wedding.

Rory grew up in Holy­wood, Co Down and his childhood friend Harry Diamond is expected to be his best man.

Erica and Rory have spent the past two New Year's Eves in five-star Ashford, where they en­joyed candlelit dinners and champagne as the clock counted down.

After Rory failed in his quest to win the Masters the weekend before last, he dropped a massive hint that the big day was imminent.

He told an interviewer: "I am excited. 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. I'll come back refreshed and a mar­ried man and start a new chapter in my life."

Rory and New Yorker Erica had been friends long before their love blossomed and they first met when she was working for the PGA in America.