The Loop

Shane Lowry, citing Zika, withdraws from Olympics

June 28, 2016
Shane Lowry U.S. Open smile.jpg

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Jason Day is grabbing headlines for dropping out of golf's return to the Olympics, but he isn't the only player to bow out of Rio on Tuesday.

Shane Lowry, fresh off an inspiring performance at the U.S. Open, announced that he will skip the Brazil competition.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision over the past couple of days to withdraw from the upcoming Olympic games this August," Lowry said in a statement. "Wendy and I have just recently been married and we hope to be lucky enough to have a family in the near future. Based on these circumstances, I have received firm medical advice that I should not travel to Rio this summer."

Lowry is the third Irish golfer to pull out of the Olympics, following Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

The Olympic Council of Ireland responded to Lowry's departure, noting it sympathizes with his verdict.

"The OCI is disappointed to hear of the news that Shane Lowry is withdrawing from Rio 2016 due to his concerns over the Zika virus," the organization said. "However, as we have always said, it is down to the individual and of course we respect Shane’s decision, which he has taken for personal reasons."

Lowry's exit now leaves Ireland with three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and Seamus Power, who currently plays on the Tour, as representatives.