Jordan Spieth, world number three, has pulled out of Rio Olympics because of fears concerning the Zika virus, officials said at a news conference held at the British Open.
Spieth’s withdrawal means the Olympic golf tournament will be without the world’s top four golfers. Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy had all previously said they would not be competing.
“It was out of concern at health issues we have been talking about (recently),” International Golf Federation vice-president Ty Votaw told reporters at Royal Troon, referring to the reasons for Spieth’s pull-out. Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar were also announced as the four players in the US team.
Some of the other notable names to have already pulled out from Olympics – with golf returning after 112 years – include Adam Scott (No. 8), South Africa’s Branden Grace (No. 11) and Louis Oosthuizen (No. 14), and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (No. 17).
Although, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (No. 6) and Spain’s Sergio Garcia (No. 12), have confirmed that they will be participating in the Games that begin from August 5.