Graeme McDowell announces he won't go to Rio Olympics

GolfBy Sunday World
Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell is the latest high-profile golfer to turn down the chance to play at the Olympics just a day after compatriot Rory McIlroy announced he would not be competing.

McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, was next in line for qualification for the Irish team following the withdrawal of McIlory, who cited concerns over the Zika virus.

However, the 36-year-old insists he had already made a decision not to go to Rio de Janeiro as his wife is pregnant and due to give birth around the same time as the Games in Brazil.

"I woke yesterday morning to the news that Rory McIlory had withdrawn from the Irish Olympic Golf team, putting me in line for an automatic spot on the team," said McDowell in a statement on Twitter.

"As many within golf will know my wife Kristin is pregnant and is due to have our second child just a couple of weeks after the Olympic Golf competition concludes.

"I made the decision many months ago, before I was on the team, that I would not play or travel outside the US, where I and my family live, in the weeks running up to the birth

"Unfortunately I will therefore not be available to replace Rory on the team. I have informed Paul McGinley and the Olympic Council of Ireland of my decision."