Golf: McIlroy downplays heart scare, says 'nothing to worry about'

(Reuters) - Four times major champion Rory McIlroy has taken to social media to downplay a report that he suffered a "heart scare" in 2016.

In an interview with British newspaper The Telegraph on Friday, the 28-year-old McIlroy revealed he had contracted a virus in China that, according to tests, has affected his heart.

"I have this thickening of my left ventricle and there's a bit of scar tissue. For now, I just need to stay on top of it and have to stay fit," the Northern Irishman told the newspaper.

The response to the story prompted McIlroy to use his Instagram account to clarify that he was not unduly concerned.

"It's really not that big a deal and nothing to worry about, apart from getting an annual check up, like you should do anyway," he wrote.

"I feel there's been a big reaction to it in the media which there really shouldn't be. I'm fit and healthy and can't wait to get my 2018 season started in Abu Dhabi next week."

He was referring to the European Tour's Abu Dhabi Championship, where he will begin a busy schedule in the build up to April's U.S. Masters, the only major he needs to win to complete the career grand slam.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien)

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