Rory McIlroy reveals he suffers from an irregularity with his heart

Tour- Alfred Dunhill Links Championship- Kingsbarns Britain

The four-time major victor was first made aware of an irregularity with his heart after suffering a viral infection in China in 2016.

"I've got a bit of an irregularity with my heart that I have to keep on top of", McIlroy told the Telegraph.

As far as the heart condition, McIlroy said he will have to undergo an echocardiogram every six months and an MRI annually.

"I suffered a really bad viral infection in China 18 months ago", McIlroy said. "I'm fit and healthy and can't wait to get my 2018 season started in Abu Dhabi next week".

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, McIlroy said: "The rib's fine, no problems whatsoever - I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spin and all was OK".

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"I feel there's been a big reaction to it in the media which there really shouldn't be". I've beaten them before. He did finish second in two European Tour tournaments, the BMW SA Open and British Masters, and recorded five top-10 results on the PGA Tour, including at the Masters (seventh) and The Open Championship (fourth).

After a winless 2017, McIlroy has slipped to 11th in the world rankings and insists his focus is on winning in the months ahead and is confident he will be bounce back as the world's best golfer.

The 28-year-old Northern Irishman failed to win an event in 2017. "I knew within myself that I couldn't compete at the end of last season because I hadn't done the work beforehand, and that's because I hadn't been fit enough and if you can't practice, you can't compete". That represented his lowest year-end rank since 2008 (39th).

McIlroy is set to play in next week's Abu Dhabi Championship in Dubai, his first tournament since shutting down his game in October to deal with a fractured rib.

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