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Rory McIlroy will defend his FedEx Cup title before taking a break

Despite struggling with injury, Rory McIlroy wants to defend his FedEx Cup title.

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Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will play the FedEx Cup Playoffs before taking a break for the rest of year to ensure he is fully fit for the 2018 calendar.

The world number four has been troubled by a rib injury in recent weeks but still managed to close out the final round of the US PGA Championship with a three-under 68.

He was never a contender at the final major of 2017, though, and had to settle for a share of 22nd place at Quail Hollow.

Following the tournament he hinted he may not feature again this year due to his injury problems, but the four-time major winner has now set his sights on defending the FedEx Cup title he won last year.

"I'm not 100 per cent, but I'm at a per cent where I feel like I can compete," he told reporters at an event at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

In an interview with ESPN he went further, confirming his plans for the rest of the year and hopes for 2018.

"I'm playing the FedEx Cup and I'm going to play the Dunhill [Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews] in Europe with my dad a couple of weeks after, and then I'm really not sure," he said.

"[In 2018] I'm hitting the ground running, I'll be playing a lot, I'm going to be healthy, I feel like I'm going to have a good bit of time at the end of the year to work on my fitness, to work on my game. 

"You don't get this opportunity to take a couple of months off and really work on what you need to work on in your game, work on your fitness. A real, proper off season like every other sport has basically. So I'm excited for that. 

"If that means I play through the FedEx Cup Playoffs and I maybe play one more event back in Europe and shut it down for the rest of the year, I'm happy to do that because that's an exciting prospect for me, to be able to turn up to 2018 and be ready to go.

"I want to defend my FedEx Cup title, and I want to play well and finish this year with a win. But at the same time these couple of months at the end of 2017 it's going to be huge for me going forward and I'm excited about that."

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