Zika fears force McIlroy’s Rio Olympics withdrawal

Pulheim, Germany: Four-time Major winning Rory McIlroy has dealt the Olympic Golf movement another blow by withdrawing from the Ireland team to compete in this year’s Rio Olympics.

The current World No. 4 has made a u-turn after recently deciding to represent Ireland but now he’s officially declared he will not be teeing-up on the Gil Hanse designed course in Brazil.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

Of course, McIlroy is again engaged to be married and therein lies his main fear.

“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero,” he said.

“After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realise that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else.”

“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.”

“I will continue to endeavour to make my fans and fans of golf proud with my play on the course and my actions off it.”

McIlroy now joins the likes of Vijay Singh, Marc Leishman, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel who have already announced they will not play in Brazil.

McIlroy had been eligible to compete for either Great Britain or Ireland this summer but contemplated withdrawing from the event in order to avoid upsetting anyone with his choice.

He eventually opted to continue representing Ireland, as he did throughout his amateur career and twice in the World Cup.