McIlroy withdraws from Rio Games

World number four Rory McIlroy released a statement on Wednesday morning, announcing his withdrawal from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

McIlroy was set to lead the Irish team, as golf makes its return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 however that will not happen anymore.

The four-time major winner, said in a statement to the press: "After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

"After speaking with those closest to me, I've come to realize that my health and my family's health comes before anything else. Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take.

"I trust the Irish people will understand my decision. The unwavering support I receive every time I compete in a golf tournament at home or abroad means the world to me.

"I will continue to endeavor to make my fans and fans of golf proud with my play on the course and my actions off it."

The Irishman joins Adam Scott, and Vijay Singh, as players who have withdrawn from the Olympics over Zika fears. Shane Lowry is expected to replace McIlroy as Ireland captain in Rio.