US golfer Jordan Spieth will not participate in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer, the International Golf Federation has confirmed. The world number three, who is replaced by Matt Kuchar, has joined an increasingly-long list of high-profile gold players who have withdrawn from the event in Brazil.
Spieth, 22, has decided to withdraw because of ongoing concerns over the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain defects in newborn babies. His announcement comes after world No1 Jason Day, No2 Dustin Johnson and No4 Rory McIlroy all pulled out of the event, which will see golf return to the Games following a 112-year absence.
Spieth has consistently maintained that he would love to represent the US in the Olympics this summer. The two-time major winner has, however, recently voiced concerns about security and the Zika virus during the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
The absence of Spieth, who was on the golf course at Royal Troon preparing for the British Open when the announcement was made, means the US will now be represented by Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler – who recently reaffirmed his desire to compete in Brazil – Patrick Reed and Kuchar.
Previously, Fiji's Vijay Singh and Australian Marc Leishman withdrew because of concerns over the Zika virus, while Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have all already announced they will not take part due to scheduling reasons.