One of the world’s top golfers announced that he will pull out of the Rio Olympics. Citing concerns over the Zika virus, Rory McIlroy said in a statement: “After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realize that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else.”
Golf Digest reports that McIlroy, who is currently ranked No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the “biggest name” to opt out of the Summer Games.
McIlroy adds in his announcement: “Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take. I trust the Irish people will understand my decision. The unwavering support I receive every time I compete in a golf tournament at home or abroad means the world to me.”
The report notes that a number of other golfers have also withdrawn, including Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. “Others, including Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Danny Willett, have hinted the decision is still up in the air for them as well,” the report adds.
This year’s Summer Games mark the first time in 112 years that golf will be included in the Olympics.