McDowell won't replace McIlroy in Rio

2016-06-23 19:02
Graeme McDowell (AP)

Dublin - Graeme McDowell has turned down the chance to take fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy's place in the 2016 Rio Olympics, he announced on Thursday.

The 2010 US Open champion becomes the latest in a long list of high-profile golfers to pull out of the Games, as he was next in line to compete for the Irish team after McIlroy's withdrawal over concerns about the Zika virus.

McDowell, 36, insisted that he had already decided against competing in Brazil as his wife is pregnant and due to give birth around the same time as the Games.

"I woke yesterday morning to the news that Rory McIlory had withdrawn from the Irish Olympic Golf team, putting me in line for an automatic spot on the team," said McDowell in a statement on Twitter.

"As many within golf will know my wife Kristin is pregnant and is due to have our second child just a couple of weeks after the Olympic Golf competition concludes.

"I made the decision many months ago, before I was on the team, that I would not play or travel outside the US, where I and my family live, in the weeks running up to the birth.

"Unfortunately I will therefore not be available to replace Rory on the team. I have informed Paul McGinley and the Olympic Council of Ireland of my decision."

The Olympic golf competition has already been hit by a series of withdrawals, with 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia and South Africa's 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen pulling out over scheduling concerns.

Other major champions skipping the Olympics include former world number one Vijay Singh of Fiji and Oosthuizen's compatriot Charl Schwartzel.

Read more on:    olympics 2016  |  graeme mcdowell  |  golf

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.