Cape Town - South Africa's greatest sportsman, Gary Player, has expressed his "disappointment" at the withdrawal of two of the country's leading medal contenders from this year's Rio Olympics.
Player, who will captain the SA golf team in Rio, took to Twitter on Monday to share his views - and confirm the absence of Charl Schwartzel.
Schwartzel, currently ranked 20th in the world, joins compatriot Louis Oosthuizen (13th) in skipping the Games in which golf will make its return after a 112-year absence.
Golfers have until July 11, 2016 to qualify for the 60-man field.
As it currently stands, Branden Grace (11th) and Jaco van Zyl (59th) - provided they too don't withdraw - would form the two-man SA team in Rio.
"I am sad and disappointed that several top players have withdrawn from the Olympic Games in Rio," Player wrote.
"I was sorry to hear that Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have withdrawn their names from consideration.
"I would have given anything to play in the Olympics. South Africa had a great team, but now obviously, it will not be as good."
Player added that modern players should give back to golf by playing in the Olympics.
"Players today make so much and should be giving back," Player wrote.
"The Olympics is one way they can do that since there is no prize money.
Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world and our best
players should be showcased on the biggest stage in sports."