Jordan Spieth withdraws from Olympic Games
Jordan Spieth will not be making the trip to Rio for this summers’ Olympic Games, the International Golf Federation has confirmed.
The 22-year-old Texan was the last high-profile player left to show their hand on whether or not to participate in Brazil, and the news is a crushing blow to golf’s governing bodies who were hoping to gain more eyes on the sport when it was played on the grand stage.
The World No.3 has withdrawn due to fears about the Zika virus.
After a 112-year absence from the Olympic Games, it was largely hoped the world would get to watch some of the best golfer’s today battle it out for their respective country. Now, however, the sport is clinging to the rags of a competition which once held so much promise.
Spieth has been replaced by Matt Kuchar and is expected to give details about his withdrawal at a news conference before the Open Championship on Tuesday.
IGF president Peter Dawson said the number of withdrawals by top players "hasn't shed golf in the best light".
He added: "We do understand why these individual decisions have been made.
"Personally, I think there's been something of an overreaction to the Zika situation, but that's for individuals to determine, and there's certainly a great deal of concern about this issue inside the game of golf."
And Zach Johnson has also put the boot in by questioning the credentials of golf, football and basketball being included in the Olympics.
"I don't know if golf has its place," Johnson said. "Basketball and soccer, do they really need to be in there either? My guess is they want a World Cup, an NBA Championship, before a gold medal.
"No offence to the Olympics but I'd rather be on the Ryder Cup team. As an American golfer I have that opportunity and that's what I'd rather do."
The Olympics take place from 5 to 21 August, with the men's golf tournament from 11 to 14 August.
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