World number three Spieth withdraws from Rio Olympic Games because of fears over the Zika virus, officials said at a news conference held at the British Open.
SHOWS: INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA (FILE - OCTOBER 6, 2015) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. UNITED STATES TEAM PLAYERS AT PRACTICE ROUND 2. UNITED STATES TEAM PLAYER, JORDAN SPIETH, HITTING A SHOT DURING PRACTICE ROUND 3. SPIETH HITTING A SHOT INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA (OCTOBER 7, 2015) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4. JORDAN SPIETH PLAYS TEE SHOT, PICKING UP GOLF TEE AND HANDING HIS CLUB TO CADDIE 5. SPIETH PUTTING 6. SPIETH WALKING 7. SPIETH SEEN PLAYING A SHOT FROM A BUNKER RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE - MARCH 8, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 8. GOLFERS PLAYING SHOTS AT OLYMPIC GOLF COURSE 9. WIDE VIEW OF GOLF COURSE WITH RIO CITY SKYLINE BEHIND 10. CACTUS PLANTS IN FOREGROUND, LAGOON BEHIND, GOLFERS AND REPORTERS WALKING 11. CLOSE-UP OF CACTUS PLANT / GOLFERS ON GREEN AND COURSE 12. WIDE VIEW OF GOLFER ON GREEN WITH CITY SKYLINE BEHIND 13. GOLFER SIZING UP HIS SHOT ON GREEN STORY: World number three Jordan Spieth has pulled out of next month's Olympics because of health concerns, officials said on Monday (July 11). American Spieth's withdrawal means the Olympic golf tournament will be without the world's top four players. Number one Jason Day, second-ranked Dustin Johnson and number four Rory McIlroy had all previously said they would not be competing in the event. "It was out of concern at health issues we have been talking about (recently)," International Golf Federation vice-president Ty Votaw told reporters at Royal Troon, referring to the reasons for Spieth's pull-out. Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar are making the trip to Brazil, they were announced as the four players in the U.S. team for the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro. Golf is returning to the Games in August following an absence of 112 years. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that the World Health Organisation says is spreading rapidly in the Americas. The Olympic golf course in Rio hosted its test event in March of this year, and since then work has continued. The Rio Olympic Games begin with the opening ceremony on August 5.