Willett commits to Olympics

Danny Willett
Danny Willett commits to Olympics
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Danny Willett has confirmed he’ll take part in the Olympic Games despite concerns over the Zika Virus and a number of high-profile withdrawals, including Rory McIlroy

Willett commits to Olympics

Danny Willett has confirmed he’ll take part in the Olympic Games despite concerns over the Zika Virus and a number of high-profile withdrawals, including Rory McIlroy.

The Masters Champion also revealed he’s spoken to Justin Rose, who also intends to represent Team GB.

“A lot of people are putting other excuses in there. The only reason you wouldn’t go would be because of concerns about Zika,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to Nicola (his wife) about it a lot, and we have concerns, but I’m still down for it and I still want to play. The threat is lowering every week. It’s come down by half in the last two months.”

Asked whether he thought Zika was an easy way out, he said:

“I think that’s a bit harsh. Some might, but I wouldn’t have though many would use that an excuse. I’m sure people who have pulled out haven’t done it willy nilly because they just don’t want to go.

“A lot of guys from Team GB have said they wouldn’t be going if they were concerned, and they are going. You don’t hear of many other athletes who have pulled out.

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“I’ve spoken to Rosey, and Fooch, his caddie, and they are still down to play, which is great for British golf. Hopefully we can have a third British guy come in if some of the contenders can play well over the next couple of weeks.”

However, Willett did concede that the prestige of a potential Gold Medal pales into insignificance when compared to the Major Championships.

When asked how long it would take for Gold Medal to be seen in the same light as a Major, he simply replied: “Never.”

“The Olympics is fantastic and it’s what all athletes around the world strive for, but we’ve just not been in it enough. I think if golf had been a part of it for the last 114 years, it might be a different story, but it’s not. I just don’t think it has the same feel or vibe as a Major. I don’t think it’ll ever quite compare. It’s a fantastic achievement, but the field strengths just don’t compare.”

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x