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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – A leading Rio de Janeiro Olympics official doubts the world’s top four male golfers are staying away from the games because of the Zika virus.
Carlos Nuzman, head of the Rio organizing committee, says on Saturday the golfers `’tried to blame Zika, but the media have shown that they are not coming because there’s no prize money.’’
Jordan Spieth withdrew this week from the Olympics, citing Zika. He joined Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy in also saying Zika was the main reason for making themselves unavailable for the first Olympic golf tournament in 112 years.
Their absence could be a setback for golf’s future in the Olympics. IOC President Thomas Bach has said that golf’s future may rest on its ability to get top players to show up.