RORY McILROY has revealed his secret heart scare - and how he will now require routine medical check-ups for the foreseeable future.
He didn't sound overly concerned about the condition, describing it as an "irregularity" that he needs to "stay on top of".
McIlroy has not competed since finishing well down the field in last October's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland and purposely has remained side-lined from formal competition to allow his injury rib to fully heal. "Hey, I was planning on doing that anyway", he said.
"I had an MRI scan on my thoracic spine and all was OK". Let's just say that between now and when I signed off a year ago, I feel way more optimistic, focused, motivated, purposeful.
Four-time major victor McIlroy returns to the golf course next week in the Abu Dhabi Championship after a four-month break as he recovered from a rib injury. I know exactly what I can do.
Rory McIlroy has endured a variety of injuries over the years - from a severely sprained ankle that caused him to miss the 2015 British Open to a rib injury that knocked him off kilter for much of 2017.
"I shouldn't have played the US Open", McIlroy said.
McIlroy, 28, is determined to return to the top of the world rankings by the end of 2018 and win at least one more major.
"I need to get back on that track and this year my goals are to add to my major tally and get back to world No. 1, winning more times than anyone else", he told the Telegraph. The first three years with my career I struggled when it came to that head-to-head stuff down the stretch, with the big guys, but now I actually think it's when I am at my best.
The 2016 FedExCup champion will get a chance to test the strength of his heart with plans to play possibly six times in seven weeks on the PGA TOUR once he returns.