Rory McIlroy mentions girlfriend as huge U.S. Open influence

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It seemed Rory McIlroy had taken all of our "awwws" away over the last two weeks. He declined a limo ride so he could hop in an Irish-born police officer's squad car, and even Skyped with the man's sister and nephew back in Dublin. He told his dad "Happy Father's Day" the moment the last putt dropped as they embraced on the 18th green.

Related: Rory's bizarre golf demonstration at age 9

But he had one more for us when he said his 20-year-old girlfriend (yes, 20!) is one of the biggest reasons why he's so grounded, and was able to hold it together at Congressional.

Via the Mirror ...

"Holly [Sweeney] and I have been together since I had just turned 16 and she was 14.

"She knows me better than basically anyone else in this world does, apart from my parents. And to have someone like that with you is very grounding."

Holly, who didn't fly over to Congressional after she attended the Masters because she was worried she might be a distraction, has been a big part of Rory's young life, attending multiple golf tournaments and even being at last year's Ryder Cup as his plus-one. No matter if it is puppy love or whatever you'd call it, if you're with someone for six or so years and it's still going well, that can only help your mental state, especially as you're becoming a super-duper star like we're seeing with Rory.

So it's nice to see him thanking his girlfriend for being a big part of this. It makes a lot of sense that someone so young yet so mature already has a person next to him that he can lean on when he needs it.

More pictures of Rory and his girlfriend after the jump ...

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