Golf champ Rory McIlroy reveals he's been dealing with heart irregularity

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Rory McIlroy says the rib that bothered him throughout 2017 is completely fine, but a recent MRI revealed an issue with his heart.

The four-time major champion is scheduled to make his season debut next week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, followed by the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

McIlroy, 28, who was winless during an injury-plagued season last year, said he will have to undergo an echo cardiogram every six months and then an MRI scan every year.

Health concerns aside, McIlroy sounded an extremely optimistic tone about once again establishing himself as one of the sport's top contenders, proclaiming: "Maybe before, I had to win from the front. Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway", he said.

"To be honest, I just went through the motions for the last few months past year", McIlroy said.

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Rory McIlroy isn't letting a newly disclosed heart condition derail his 2018 goals: winning more majors, and reclaiming the world no. 1 ranking. I just don't feel that now. "I got injured at the Players and should have said, 'Yeah, I'll miss a major, ' because I was only there to get by and you can't win a major by 'getting by.' The season just went on, had a bit of a chance at The Open, but, I really needed these 3 ½ months of just me and team and family".

The Northern Ireland golfer will return from four-month layoff from a rib injury when he takes to the field of the Abu Dhabi Championship on Thursday. I know exactly what I can do.

Despite starting the year outside the top 10, McIlroy told the Telegraph that he's ready to compete.

"Mentally more than physically probably".

The purchaser could get a golf prize from McIlroy, however, as the soda vending machine he was given after winning the 2016 Tour Championship is featured in one of the rooms.