Oosthuizen latest top golfer to skip Rio Games

Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:20pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen on Thursday became the third high-profile golfer to withdraw from this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, citing family and schedule issues.

South African Oosthuizen follows what could become a pattern, started last week by Fiji's former world number one Vijay Singh and continued on Tuesday by Australia's 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott.

"I have always represented South Africa with pride so didn't make my decision without a great deal of thought," 2010 British Open winner Oosthuizen said in a statement released by his management company.

"I would like to wish our golfers and all other athletes competing in Brazil all the very best for success."

According to his management company, world number 12 Oosthuizen informed South Africa's Olympic committee of his decision "after long deliberations citing family and schedule issues".

The decisions by Oosthuizen, Scott and Singh were described as "regrettable" by the International Golf Federation (IGF).

"The IGF understands the challenges players face in terms of scheduling this summer and it is regrettable to see a few leading players withdraw from this year's Games," IGF president Peter Dawson said in a statement.

"The Olympics is the world's greatest celebration of sport and it is exciting and appropriate that golf features in its program again."

Singh, a three-times major winner, announced last week that the Zika virus was his main reason for skipping the Rio Games.   Continued...

Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Louis Oosthuizen hits a shot from the rough on the 1st hole during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports