Date: June 22, 2016
Author: Martin Blake

McIlroy out of Rio 2016

World No. 4 Rory McIlroy has pulled out of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics over fears surrounding the Zika virus.

In a further blow to golf's status, McIlroy, who was slotted to represent Ireland at the Games, joins Australians Adam Scott and Marc Leishman, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen and Fiji's Vijay Singh among those who withdrew for varying reasons.

"My health and my family's health comes before everything else,'' said McIlroy today. "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.''

Golf is returning to Olympic competition for the first time since 1904.