Who is in the Great Britain Olympic Golf Team? We reveal the four players who are going to Rio, despite the Zika virus risks in Brazil
Who is in the Great Britain Olympic Golf Team?
Well Justin Rose and Danny Willett have now both confirmed that they will represent the Great Britain Olympic golf team, despite the Zika Virus risks
The Englishmen will join Charley Hull and Catriona Matthew on the team that will play in Rio, with the men playing a 72-hole stroke play event from August 11-14, while the women go for gold between August 17-20.
Despite it being the first time that golf has appeared at the Olympics since 1904, it wasn’t certain that Rose and Willett, who both have young families, would travel, after health warnings about the Zike virus caused many of golf’s biggest names to withdraw.
That list includes the top four men’s players in the world rankings – Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy – and handfuls of others, such as Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel.
They’re all worried about the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to defects in newborn babies.
It has seen more than 20 male golfers pull out, interestingly however, South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace is the only woman to withdraw, with very few others withdrawing across the sports spectrums, the exceptions being American cyclist Tejay van Garderen, whose wife is pregnant, and American basketball star Stephen Curry, who noted “other factors” played a role in his decision to withdraw.
Masters winner Willett however put the risk into context, when he told the press: “You’ve got more chance of getting malaria in South Africa than you have of contracting Zika when you go to Rio.”
Talking about why he was soon keen to play, Rose said told the media at The Open: “I’m treating it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When it’s once every four years, I think it’s something you can certainly make an exception for, and that’s been my attitude towards it. Just being a part of Team GB, in a sense you feel like you’re part of something bigger than just your individual sport as well.
He added: “The Zika risk is going to be one of those things that we look back at and think it’s a non-event hopefully.”
The male duo will be joined by fellow major winner Catriona Matthew, plus youngster Charley Hull, who will both be eyeing up a podium finish in Rio.