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Sergio Garcia commits to Rio Olympics despite Zika fears

By The Sports Xchange
Sergio Garcia of Spain will play in the Rio Olympics. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/36036fd1c549e9a8e14400b279c78c7b/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Sergio Garcia of Spain will play in the Rio Olympics. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Spaniard Sergio Garcia has committed to representing his country at the Rio Olympics despite a number of his fellow professionals withdrawing due to fears over the Zika virus.

"I know there r some dangers but representing Spain, trying to make golf grow & becoming an Olympian r too important so I'll be at @Olympics," the 36-year-old Garcia, No. 12 in the world, wrote Wednesday on Twitter.

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No. 1 Jason Day and fourth-ranked Rory McIlroy are among the marquee players who will not participate in Rio de Janeiro due to Zika concerns.

Golf returns to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years. The Rio Games will be held from Aug. 5-21.

Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge has withdrawn from Olympics consideration but not because of Zika. He is 160th on the FedEx Cup points list and needs to finish in the top 125 at the end of the season to keep full playing rights.

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"The reason for my decision is not my concern about the Zika virus," de Jonge said in a statement. "It is truly a business decision. It would have been a great honor to play for my country. I am truly disappointed, but my current position on the FedEx Cup points list does not allow me the luxury to skip the John Deere Classic or the Travelers Championship. This has to be a priority for me and my family."

The Zika virus leads to severe birth defects, including babies born with abnormally small heads. It can cause neurological problems for adults. There is no vaccine for the Zika virus.

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