Amanda Balionis makes PGA Tour return as Rory McIlroy takes golf break

Amanda Balionis is back in the swing of things at the Traveler's Championship, while Rory McIlroy takes a breather from the golfing world.

As McIlroy was duking it out with Bryson DeChambeau for the U.S. Open crown, CBS Sports' very own Balionis was living it up with her friends in the Hamptons, taking a well-deserved break from the manicured lawns of golf courses. She took to social media to share snaps of her beach getaway, complete with bikini shots and quality time with pals before getting back into the groove this week.

Celebrating her birthday on Thursday, Balionis hopped onto Instagram to share her dog-friendly escapades at the Traveler's Championship's Fan Zone - the season's last big PGA Tour event. Her post read: "A massive thanks to @travelerschamp for having @puppiesandgolf in their Fan Zone today!"

She continued, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to promote their cause and introduce @protectorsofanimals, the chosen local shelter for the month. Balionis shared the joy of introducing everyone to Flowers, an adorable three year old who's all about giving kisses to new friends.

While unconfirmed rumours swirled about McIlroy and Balionis amidst his brief separation from his wife Erica Stoll, the pair have since put any talk of divorce behind them. Fresh from her holiday, Balionis recently posted a picture on Instagram sporting a denim jacket emblazoned with the phrase: "It's all good, baby, baby."

Golf fans were abuzz with rumours after Amanda Balionis posted a striking photo, leading one eagle-eyed follower to dub it a "revenge dress" amid whispers of a fling with Rory McIlroy. The gossip mill went into overdrive when Balionis interviewed McIlroy post his Wells Fargo Championship victory, with their banter appearing a tad too cosy for comfort. To add more intrigue, Balionis was spotted sans wedding ring, sending the rumour mill into a frenzy.

However, any whispers of a romance were quashed as McIlroy reconciled with wife Erica Stoll. Then, in a dramatic twist at the U.S. Open, McIlroy's game unravelled, paving the way for Bryson DeChambeau to clinch his second major title.

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amanda balionis makes pga tour return as rory mcilroy takes golf break

Rory McIlroy missed late putts to lose out on a fifth major title at the U.S. Open

After the tournament, McIlroy made a beeline for Florida to regroup and subsequently announced a hiatus from golf to spend quality time with his family. Withdrawing from the upcoming Traveler's Championship, he plans to return just before The Open at Royal Troon next month.

McIlroy shared his feelings candidly: "Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I've had in my nearly 17 years as a professional golfer," he said in a heartfelt social media post on Monday. "Firstly, I'd like to congratulate Bryson. He is a worthy champion and exactly what professional golf needs right now. I think we can all agree on that."

"As I reflect on my week, I'll rue a few things over the course of the tournament, mostly, the 2 missed putts on 16 and 18 on the final day. But, as I always try to do, I'll look at the positives of the week that far outweigh the negatives. As I said at the start of the tournament, I feel closer to winning my next major championship than I ever have."

"The one word that I would describe my career as is resilient. I've shown my resilience over and over again in the last 17 years and I will again. I'm going to take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up for my defense of the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open at Royal Troon. See you in Scotland."

* An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story.

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