OlympicsJune 24, 2016

Branden Grace becomes latest golfer to withdraw from the Olympics due to Zika

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Branden Grace is the latest golfer to pull out of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, citing the Zika virus as the reason on Friday. Grace is the No. 11 ranked golfer in the world, and the highest-ranked South African golfer.

Fellow South Africans Louis Oosthuizen (No. 14) and Charl Schwartzel (No. 23) have already withdrawn from the Olympics, leaving Jaco Van Zyl (No. 59) as the top golfer from the country. Brandon Stone would also qualify to represent South Africa in the Olympics.

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"After serious consideration, it is with regret that I have decided to withdraw myself from the Olympic competition due to the risk posed by the Zika virus," Grace said in a statement. "Although it was a huge goal of mine to represent my country in the Olympics, we are getting married in November and hoping to start a family in the near future, so I must put the health of my family first."

Grace's statement comes just two days after Rory McIlroy withdrew from the Olympics due to the Zika virus, stating he has plans to start a family soon.

Olympic teams will be finalized in three weeks, based on the world rankings as of July 11.

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