Rory McIlroy: Heart issue 'nothing' as ex-world No.1 eyes fresh start

He has brushed off a heart issue and has not played a tournament for 104 days because of injury, but Rory McIlroy ins...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 3:37 PM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 3:37 PM

He has brushed off a heart issue and has not played a tournament for 104 days because of injury, but Rory McIlroy insists he is on a new healthy quest to reignite his career.

The 28-year-old shut down his season in October to recuperate from a persistent rib problem and has spent the time since reassessing his lifestyle and approach to the game.

Rory McIlroy makes first start since October

Former world No. 1 brushes off heart issue

Targeting career grand slam at Augusta

The former world No.1 has not won a tournament since clinching the US season-ending Tour Championship in September 2016 and he won the last of his four majors in 2014.

McIlroy was diagnosed with a minor heart irregularity, found during a routine health check in April, but says "basically, it's nothing." A scan showed a thickening in the heart wall, but his doctors said it is "just something you have to keep on top of."

READ: Golf set for blockbuster season in 2018

READ: Fanny Sunesson -- the female caddie that conquered Augusta

In need of a 'sabbatical'

However, McIlroy has undergone blood profiles and worked with a dietician, monitoring his salt intake and upping his fish oil intake with six tablets a day.

He has, he says, become a "bit of a pain in the backside" for waiters by continually ordering food cooked in specific ways or without oil or butter.

"[It's] just be a little more careful about what I'm putting into my body and obviously that can dictate energy levels and all that stuff," a trim-looking McIlroy told reporters ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

He added: "I've actually put on about two kilos since October. But obviously that's two good kilos. I've lost a bit of fat and put on a bit of muscle."

McIlroy also got married in 2017, and spent some of his three months off driving around Italy with his new wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible. He also spent four-and-a-half weeks in Dubai, tentatively rehabilitating his golf game.

He then went back to the US for Thanksgiving, visited his native Belfast and New York over the Christmas break, celebrated New Year at Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland, and went out to Abu Dhabi in early January to practice in earnest.

"I felt like I needed it physically and mentally," he told reporters. "I've been out here (on tour) for 10 years and it just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical."

READ: The life of a golf trick shot artist

'No better feeling'

McIlroy did score six top 10s in 14 PGA Tour events last year, including seventh at the Masters and fourth at the Open, but his win drought is a major talking point as Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas have taken a stranglehold at the head of the game.

Now that he is fit again, McIIroy has committed to a strenuous run of eight tournaments before the Masters in April, the first major of the year, when he can become one of only six players to clinch a career grand slam of all four major titles.

But he is adamant that Masters success -- he has a best finish of fourth in 2015 -- is not dependent on winning a title or two before he reaches Augusta.

"I don't need to but I'd love to," he said, adding he was planning to arrive earlier at tournaments -- on the Monday of that week -- to give himself more preparation time than in the past.

Visit CNN.com/golf for more news, features and videos

"I don't think there's any better feeling than winning a golf tournament. But I don't feel like it's that far away," he said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 318894

Reported Deaths: 5561
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion43391855
Lake27599462
Allen18363299
Elkhart17474226
St. Joseph17071234
Hamilton13376169
Vanderburgh9839121
Tippecanoe880629
Porter844886
Johnson6556169
Hendricks6267158
Vigo618187
Monroe542850
Clark522877
Madison5153122
Delaware5014103
LaPorte474695
Kosciusko468540
Howard357977
Warrick329872
Floyd324978
Bartholomew323563
Wayne318074
Marshall308146
Cass302631
Grant282050
Noble261546
Hancock260355
Henry252837
Boone248754
Dubois242931
Dearborn222631
Jackson222534
Morgan215543
Knox189720
Shelby189556
Gibson189426
Clinton182121
DeKalb181632
Lawrence179748
Adams171022
Wabash168121
Miami166614
Daviess160144
Steuben150713
Fayette150034
Jasper147413
Montgomery146627
Harrison145524
LaGrange145031
Whitley140814
Ripley138515
Huntington130910
Decatur128243
Wells127930
Putnam127828
White127522
Clay126523
Randolph126121
Posey124116
Jefferson122916
Scott112320
Greene104653
Jay100713
Sullivan99216
Starke94021
Jennings88714
Fulton86419
Spencer8588
Perry83721
Fountain8078
Washington7837
Franklin71327
Carroll69613
Orange69028
Vermillion6444
Owen6317
Tipton58927
Parke5886
Newton56912
Rush5658
Blackford54012
Pike51619
Pulaski41115
Martin3645
Benton3553
Brown3514
Crawford3031
Union2752
Switzerland2605
Warren2542
Ohio2337
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 382743

Reported Deaths: 6274
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin51161671
Cuyahoga37222743
Hamilton30493372
Montgomery20518236
Butler15199148
Lucas14566417
Summit13933327
Stark9193206
Warren841976
Mahoning7530300
Lake710067
Lorain6690106
Clermont593651
Delaware572537
Licking564577
Trumbull5584147
Fairfield554464
Greene538066
Clark5218101
Allen494989
Marion476759
Medina471657
Wood4598107
Miami437568
Pickaway404048
Portage358972
Columbiana357698
Tuscarawas342667
Richland328539
Wayne327394
Mercer296047
Muskingum252510
Hancock245940
Ross244559
Auglaize236435
Darke232560
Erie230268
Putnam229449
Ashtabula228354
Geauga211851
Scioto200616
Union19668
Shelby194017
Lawrence193039
Athens19134
Seneca182919
Belmont170229
Madison163119
Sandusky157729
Preble156521
Huron155519
Defiance144823
Holmes140439
Logan133517
Knox131718
Fulton128726
Jefferson128613
Crawford126817
Washington125227
Ottawa124530
Clinton109115
Williams10799
Ashland107825
Highland103718
Brown10135
Henry101323
Hardin99719
Champaign9825
Van Wert97318
Jackson96212
Fayette92717
Morrow9202
Guernsey89314
Coshocton85215
Perry82912
Adams80313
Pike7661
Gallia76513
Wyandot73217
Paulding66511
Hocking64516
Noble62224
Carroll48810
Meigs39612
Monroe32321
Morgan2685
Vinton2246
Harrison2193
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 36°
Angola
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 36°
Huntington
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 41°
Decatur
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 41°
Van Wert
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 41°
Mostly Cloudy Black Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events