New York Daily News

Blame it on Rio, Zika: Spieth says no to Games


TROON, Scotland — Golf waited 112 years to get back into the Olympics. The top four players in the world are waiting a bit longer.

Jordan Spieth delivered the final blow Monday when he told the Internatio­nal Golf Federation he would not be going to Rio next month, leaving the sport without its four highest-ranked players who have captured six of the last eight majors.

IGF President Peter Dawson said Spieth cited his concern over “health issues” for withdrawin­g.

All have indicated support for 2020 in Tokyo.

Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy previously withdrew, all citing the Zika vi- rus. Day and Johnson have said they plan on having more children, while McIlroy is engaged and said he would soon be starting a family.

Eighteen eligible men, based on Monday’s world ranking, withdrew from the Olympics.

The women only had one player withdraw, Lee Anne Pace of South Africa, due to Zika concerns.

The men will have eight of the top 15 in the world in Rio. The women will have the top nine in the world; Ha-Na Jang at No. 10 is not eligible because South Korea already reached its maximum of four players.

“There is no doubt that the number of withdrawal­s hasn’t shed golf in the best light, and we have to accept that,” Dawson said. “But we do understand why these individual decisions have been taken. Personally, I think there’s been something of an overreacti­on to the Zika situation, but that’s for individual­s to determine, and there’s certainly a great deal of concern about this issue inside the game of golf, no doubt about that.”

Spieth was playing a practice round at Royal Troon for the British Open when the IGF held its news conference to announce who qualified. Spieth was not expected to speak until Tuesday. When he finished his round, he went back toward the gallery to sign autographs, and then walked across the front of the 18th green to the other side toward the parking lot. Golf pulled out all the stops to get back into the Olympics, presenting on video the support from some of the best players in the world at the time — Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Lorena Ochoa, Suzann Pettersen — when it was voted onto the program in 2009.

Spieth was among the most enthusiast­ic until about a month ago when he joined others in expressing concern about Zika, security and other issues facing the Rio Games. He was said to be torn about playing until deciding Monday morning not to go.

Losing the top four could be a big setback for men’s golf and its bid to stay in the Olympics. It is assured of being part of the Tokyo Games in 2020, but the Internatio­nal Olympic Committee votes next year on whether golf and other events stay beyond that. — AP WARRIORS FORWARD Draymond Green was arrested Sunday in East Lansing, Mich., and booked for assault after police said he was involved in a fight with another man at a restaurant. first reported the arrest, but an online Register of Action document released Monday from 54B District Court in East Lansing confirmed the former Michigan State star was busted at 2:28 a.m. on Sunday and is scheduled to be arraigned by July 20.

No additional police report was immediatel­y available, but ESPN later reported that Green was involved in a fight with another man at Conrad’s Grill, which stays open until 3 a.m.

“It was basically an altercatio­n between two guys,” police said. “There’s no injuries. (Green) was released with a $200 bond on Sunday.”

If convicted, Green would face a maximum of 93 days in jail and a $500 fine or both.

The Warriors announced that they were “aware of the news” in a statement Monday

 ??  ?? Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States