Two-time major champion and world No. 3 Jordan Spieth will not compete in the 2016 Olympic Games due to health concerns, the International Golf Federation announced on Monday during a press conference prior to the British Open.
Spieth joins a long list of top players who have backed out of golf’s return to the Games. The no-shows include Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and world No. 2 Dustin Johnson, who withdrew his name from consideration over the weekend.
“There is no denying that (the withdraws hurt),” said Peter Dawson, the IGF’s president, who added that he felt players’ concerns about the Zika virus were an “overreaction.”
The 22-year-old Spieth said at the U.S. Open in June that he was monitoring the situation and would talk with his team before making a decision on Rio.
Ty Votaw, the vice president of the IGF, said during Monday’s press conference that Spieth called the IGF earlier on Monday to say he wouldn’t be playing.
“He’s going to be addressing his reasons for choosing not to participate (Tuesday) in his press conference,” Votaw said, “but in the phone call, it was out of concern for the health issues that we’ve been talking about.”
Matt Kuchar will replace Spieth on the U.S. team alongside Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed. With Spieth bowing out, the world’s top four golfers will not be represented in the Games.
Spieth’s British Open press conference is scheduled for 7 a.m. EST on Tuesday.