Big 4 gone: Jordan Spieth has withdrawn from the Rio Olympics

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The top-4 ranked golfers in the world will not be playing in the 2016 Olympics.

Jordan Spieth has withdrawn from the Rio Olympics citing health reasons, inflicting a huge body blow to a sport that has only just regained its Olympic status.

International Golf Federation’s president Peter Dawson made the announcement as Jordan Spieth was practising at Royal Troon ahead of this week’s Open Championship.

Spieth’s withdrawal means that the top-4 (or Big-4) golfers in the world have stated their unavailability for the Rio Olympics with Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson already withdrawing.

While eight of the world’s top-15 players look to be headed to Rio, including world number 5 Bubba Watson, it’s now a long list of golfers who have elected not to play and some are suggesting this won’t help golf’s intention to be a part of the Olympics in future.

Adam Scott was the first big-name player to withdraw from the Olympics but he stated very different reasons than every other golfer. Scott withdrew from the Olympics on principle stating that the event should be solely for amateurs. Almost all other official withdrawals have stated the Zika virus as their primary concern but very few female golfers have pulled out of the Olympics, with very few other athletes from other sports so far expressing the same concern.

It’s clearly not a big enough attraction for the world’s best golfers to risk their health over.

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