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Rory McIlroy Hugs Sports Reporter Amanda Balionis After Canadian Open Interview 

Fueling dating rumors, Rory McIlroy hugged Amanda Balionis after the CBS Sports reporter interviewed him at the RBC Canadian Open.

Balionis sat down with the pro golfer on Sunday, June 2, and afterward the two shared a hug, TMZ reported on Monday, June 3. The outlet posted a photo of McIlroy, 35, embracing Balionis, 38, underneath a tent with lighting equipment surrounding them.

On May 29, Us Weekly exclusively confirmed that McIlroy and Balionis are not dating and only have a professional relationship.

McIlroy filed for divorce from wife Erica Stoll in Florida on May 13 amid speculation that he had moved on with Balionis. Neither McIlroy nor Balionis have addressed the rumors. (The journalist married football coach Bryn Renner in 2022, but it is unclear whether they have separated.)

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Balionis has covered golf for years and interviewed McIlroy on May 12 after he won the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina.

“This was just another great day to add to all the rest of them,” McIlroy told her of his win. “I feel like these people have watched me grow up from winning here [at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte] as a 20-year-old to being the ripe old age of 35 now. They’ve sort of seen my progression through my career and I’ve been lucky enough to win here four times.”

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The next day, McIlroy filed paperwork to divorce Stoll, 36, after seven years of marriage. He claimed in his petition that their relationship was “irretrievably broken.” McIlroy and Stoll, who share 3-year-old daughter Poppy, also have a prenup in place.

The golfer’s representatives confirmed the court filing to the Irish Star on May 14, emphasizing his “desire to ensure this difficult time is as respectful and amicable as possible. He will not be making any further comment.”

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A source later told Us that Stoll had been “lonely in their marriage.”

“Rory was a hard person to be married to,” the insider claimed to Us. “[Erica] knew what she was getting into with his profession, but once they had Poppy, things really changed and she had a new perspective. Erica was usually absent for most of his tournaments and was really focused on Poppy.”

McIlroy, who hails from Northern Ireland, continues to compete on the 2024 PGA Tour circuit, where he’s finished T12 at the PGA Championship and T4 at the Canadian Open. McIlroy made his pro tournament debut in the latter’s 2019 contest, winning the title and prize money at Ontario’s Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

Last month, McIlroy spoke about how playing golf offers a respite from everyday life. 

“Getting inside the ropes for that four or five hours or whatever it is a day, it’s a nice escape from everything else that’s going on in the world of golf,” he told reporters after his Wells Fargo victory. “I don’t mind it. I’ve always been able to compartmentalize pretty well. I seem to, for whatever reason, play very good golf whenever I have a lot of stuff going on.”

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