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Graeme McDowell turns down the Olympics spot he inherited when Rory McIlroy turned down the spot


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A day after Rory McIlroy announced he was taking himself out of consideration to play in the Olympics, another Northern Irishman is following suit. Graeme McDowell, who with McIlroy’s withdraw became next in line to play for Ireland, released a statement Thursday saying that he too would not participate in the Games.

McDowell said that he had made the decision against playing if he were to qualify several months ago, but had not stated anything publicly. Unlike McIlroy, McDowell did not mention the Zika virus as part of his reason, but did cite family considerations, noting his wife is due to have their second child in late August, shortly after the competition in Rio.

Here is the statement that he posted via Twitter:

Shortly after McDowell’s announcement, officials with the International Golf Federation released what’s becoming for them an all-too-familiar statement acknowledging the decision of a top golfer to take themselves out of consideration for the Olympics:

“We recognise the unique circumstances for Graeme and his family and, while we are disappointed that he is not available for the Olympic Games, we sympathise with his position. There are many considerations for players, but those who compete will have the opportunity to be part of a truly global celebration of sport.”