Jordan Spieth announced his withdrawal from the Olympic Games on Monday, meaning that the best four players in the world will not compete in Rio de Janeiro.
The Texan wunderkind was concerned about his health and thus joined Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy in opting out.
‘Do I think being an Olympian outweighs any significant health threat? No.’ said Spieth. ‘If I thought that the threat was significant, I certainly would not go. But based on what’s come to my knowledge at this point, it seems like it’s going to be an extremely memorable experience, and I look forward to trying to win a gold for the United States.’
South Africans Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwarztel, Branden Grace, and Lee-Anne Pace have all withdrawn, leaving Jaco van Zyl and Brandon Stone as the likely candidates.
Golf’s inclusion in the Olympics for the first time in 112 years has been marred by the lack of interest from top-ranked players, tied in with concerns over the format of the tournament, the Zika virus, and security concerns in Brazil.