Pulling out of Olympics hardest choice he ever made — Spieth

The world's top four players - Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy - are among those to have pulled out of the Olympics because of fears over the Zika virus.

Spieth said on Tuesday the decision was probably the hardest of his life, but added it was due to "health concerns as a whole" rather than Zika specifically.

"The expectation raises dramatically into, you're on the tee and you're a professional golfer. I get that. But at the same time that's not the reason that I got into golf".

"Even some of the permanent buildings are going to be transformed into secondary schools or sports-based academies". They also are not in my shoes.

McIlroy will try to win his second British Open when he tees off at 4:36 AM EST Thursday with Hideki Matsuyama and Bubba Watson. In effect saying golf doesn't matter in the Olympics is an insult to everybody that goes and plays in the Olympics.

Spieth stressed that it was not just a worry about the Zika outbreak that made him withdraw.

"We're always concerned, but we're working damned hard to put our best foot forward", he said. Ultimately we chose to go with narrative separation, and placed them at the end of the levels to prevent this problem for arising.

"I didn't get into golf to try and grow the game; I got into golf to win championships, and major championships", said the 27-year-old.

McIlroy also believes that golf's drug testing policy has to be far more stringent if it wants to become a long-term Olympic sport.

"I do hope to play in four or five Olympics in the future, but it's unique circumstances this year".

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But the Northern Irishman reckons the form which has deserted him in Majors since he won the US PGA at Valhalla two years ago is close to returning. He said: "I'm excited to be back. I will be, I'm sure, at times pretty upset I'm not down there". “Thats what he said. So thats how it went.”.

Rory McIlroy spoke his mind about golf at the Rio Olympics today and it won't make pleasant listening for those trying to promote the sport at the games.

He has maintained that despite challenges on the political, health and construction of venues for the Rio Olympics, the Latin American country would stage a perfect event.

Work on the masterplan started before the London Olympics, in January 2012, and has progressed through an unsettling about-face in Brazil's economic prospects.

Spieth was anxious to point out Zika was not the sole reason for his withdrawal.

Measuring just 123 yards, it should, on paper, be a formality.

Spieth joked after an introduction to his close call at St. Andrews last year that it would be the easiest question he received. "I got into golf to win championships, and major championships".

He was ready to move on from Olympics to a claret jug. But even Spieth knows that wont happen.

"It will loom over me throughout the Olympic Games, for sure". "I thought about all this ahead of time". I can't wait to share it with you, July 15th!

Like the past two summer Olympic hosts, Rio de Janeiro is turning existing landmarks into venues.

  • Michael Mitchell