Pros advice

Danny Willett shrugs off Zika virus fears and will pack for Rio

Danny Willett has shrugged off concerns over the Zika virus and reaffirmed his desire to play at the Rio Olympics.

Following a tide of high-profile golfers withdrawing from the summer sports extravaganza, in which golf has finally been reinstated after a 112-year absence, it was suggested that Willett would also choose to skip Brazil amid fears the Zika virus would still be active in the country.

Willett has spoken at length with his wife concerning what kind of risks the Zika virus might bring, but has declared his intention to play, saying: “The only reason you wouldn’t go would be because of concerns about Zika. I’ve spoken to Nicole (his wife) about it a lot, and we have concerns, but I’m still down for it and I still want to play.”

He added: “The threat is lowering every week. It’s come down by half in the last two months.”

With so many players dropping out due to the suggested risk of Zika, some people believe it is now being used as an excuse to skip the Games. However, Willett does not agree with those claims, saying: “I think that’s a bit harsh.

“Some might, but I wouldn’t have though many would use that an excuse.

“I’m sure people who have pulled out haven’t done it willy nilly because they just don’t want to go.

“A lot of guys from Team GB have said they wouldn’t be going if they were concerned, and they are going.

“You don’t hear of many other athletes who have pulled out.”

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