Rory McIlroy Pulls Out of Olympic Games

The world number four won't be in Rio due to Zika virus concerns

Rory McIlroy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

World number four Rory McIlroy cites Zika virus concerns in a statement released today

Rory McIlroy Pulls Out of Olympic Games

Rory McIlroy has announced that he won't be competing in Rio this summer at the Olympics.

The world number four cited concerns regarding the Zika virus which can lead to birth defects in babies.

McIlroy is the latest name to pull out after other high profile names such as Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Vijay Singh.

Leishman and Singh, like McIlroy, cited the Zika virus as the main reason for their pull-outs.

Rory McIlroy released this statement today:

“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

“After speaking with those closest to me, I’ve come to realise that my health and my family’s health comes before anything else. 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.”

Rory McIlroy caused media interest when deciding whether he would represent GB or Ireland at the games before he chose to compete for Ireland.

The Ulsterman looks to be replaced by Graeme McDowell in Team Ireland who will join world number 25 Shane Lowry.

It's the first time that golf will feature in the Olympics since 1904.

Last week, world number two Jordan Spieth hinted that he would play the Olympics in his pre-US Open press conference.

Next: How to qualify for the Olympics?

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5