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One Other Reason Why Golfers Are Pulling Out Of The Olympics That No One's Talking About

One Other Reason Why Golfers Are Pulling Out Of The Olympics That No One's Talking About
By Conor O'Leary Updated

Is it any surprise that it only seems to be golfers that are pulling out of the Olympics because of the Zika virus? There haven't been any track and field athletes withdrawing, and there are some who are trying to overturn bans just to get to Rio.

First Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, and Louis Oosthuizen pulled out - before the shitstorm really started with Rory McIlroy. Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry followed - before Jason Day and Dustin Johnson are the latest two. There will probably be more.

The point has been made that the Olympics isn't the pinnacle for golfers - which is true. But there decisions come down to much more than that.

Golf careers are much longer than any other sporting careers. Look at that list of young golfers who won't be in Rio, and ask yourself how many of them will be in with a great chance of playing in Tokyo in 2020? The majority will still be in their peak, while Leishman and McDowell might be starting to decline - but will have a chance.

It's not like other Olympic athletes whose four years are geared towards one Olympics, and they might not get another chance. At 27, McIlroy could still play at three or four Olympics if he wants to.

All of the golfers who have pulled out are all in beginning their young families, are focusing on the bigger majors on the golfing schedule, and are young enough and good enough to be playing in many more Olympics.

No one else has that luxury. Why risk it?

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See Also: "I Have Four Olympic Games A Year" - Rory McIlroy Explains Why He's Not Going To Rio

Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

 


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