The Ryder Cup tradition of meeting the partners of Team USA and Team Europe was nearly ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The wives and girlfriends of Europe’s Ryder Cup team have been given an exemption from US travel restrictions to fly to America for the matches, according to The Sun.

Rory McIlroy’s wife, Erica Stoll.
PA Images via Getty Images

On Monday, Padraig Harrington’s 12-member Euro team was reportedly joined by their significant others on a flight from Heathrow to the U.S. — where the 43rd annual Ryder Cup will take place at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Wisconsin starting Friday.

Players’ family were reportedly granted waivers by the US State Department, following “breakthrough talks” between the US Embassy, PGA and European Tour.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, Europe and British citizens are currently not allowed to enter America. In November, travelers will be able to enter the U.S. by showing proof of full vaccination against coronavirus.

Rory McIlroy's wife, Erica Stoll.
Jon Rahm’s wife, Kelly Cahill.
Getty Images

The WAGs of the Ryder Cup were introduced at the opening ceremony Tuesday, following a team photo call, according to the website.

They’ll spend the weekend sporting atttending events, supporting the players and getting to know the fellow wives and girlfriends.

Meet the Team Europe WAGs:

Jon Rahm and eight others on Team Europe are married, including Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Sergio Garcia, and Ian Poulter. It’s unclear if Viktor Hovland, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Bernd Wiesberger have partners.

Rahm married Kelly Cahill in 2019 in Bilbao, Spain, near his hometown of Barrika. They welcomed their first child together in April. The college sweethearts met at Arizona State University, where Cahill competed in track and field.

McIlroy and wife Erica Stoll have a love story straight out of a romantic comedy. The pair met at the 2012 Ryder Cup, when she was PGA of America employee. Mcllroy overslept and needed a ride to the course, and Stoll helped him out. The two were engaged by December 2015, and married in April 2017 at Ashford Castle in Ireland. Mcllroy announced the birth of the couple’s first child on social media in September 2020 — a baby girl, named Poppy Kennedy McIlroy.

Garcia is married to Angela Akins, a former golfer at both TCU and Texas. Akins, who previously worked for the Golf Channel, is the daughter of former Texas Longhorns quarterback Marty Akins, and the first cousin of newly retired Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The couple has two children together — a daughter Azalea Adele and son Enzo.

Casey is married to Pollyanna Woodward, a popular British television host, who’s known for her presence on “The Gadget Show.” She also appeared on VH1’s “Wannabe with Chanelle,” and reached the final 13 of “Popstars the Rivals.” Woodward was a top-10 finalist in Miss England. The couple met in 2011, and married in 2015. They have two children — a son, Lex and daughter, Astaria.

Westwood and wife Helen Storey work well together. She’s been his caddie since 2018 — though their son will be on the bag this week. Westwood and Storey covered “Golf” magazine’s May 2021 issue, where she posed on his back. The couple said “I do” in Las Vegas in June 2021, and announced the news in a tweet with photos from their wedding day.

Fleetwood’s wife Clare Craig has been his manager since 2015. She was previously vice-president of Hambric Europe, an athlete management company. The couple married in 2017 in the Bahamas, and share one son together, Franklin Fleetwood. Craig has two children from a previous marriage.

Hatton and his wife Emily Braisher were forced to tie the knot alone in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The longtime couple wed in Asheville, North Carolina.

Lowry married Wendy Honner, a nurse, in New York in April 2016 — after they met “random night out” in 2012. Honner gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Iris, in March 2017.

Poulter and Katie Gadsden met when she was a nurse. The couple has four children — Aimee-Leigh, Luke, Lily-Mai and Joshua.


By James Carter

A Senior writer & Editor, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following news developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world. He writes for almost all sections of Editorials 24.