Golfer Day raises doubts over Rio Games, citing Zika

Fri Jun 3, 2016 7:54pm EDT
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(Reuters) - World number one golfer Jason Day on Friday expressed doubts for the first time over whether he would compete at this summer's Rio Olympics, citing fresh concerns over the Zika virus.

Australian Day had previously been vocal in his support for golf's return to the Olympics after an absence of more than a century but he and his wife, Ellie, want to make "an educated decision" as they consider having a third child.

U.S. health officials have concluded that infections by the mosquito-borne Zika virus in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.

"It's difficult to say right now," Day told reporters after shooting a one-under-par 71 in the second round of the Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio. "It's a medical issue. We will see.

"We have to see an independent doctor, not just the PGA (Tour) doctor ... we need independent advice. There's a lot of guys who are on the fence about it because they don't want to put themselves in harm's way.

"We're just really trying to monitor what's going on and make an educated decision because obviously we're not done having kids."

Day and his wife have two children, a 3-year-old son Dash and a 7-month-old daughter Lucy.

Should Day end up skipping the Olympics, the Australian team would be without its two best players.

Compatriot Adam Scott previously announced he would also skip Rio, though not because of Zika concerns, but more due to his belief that golf does not belong in the Olympics.   Continued...

Jun 3, 2016; Dublin, OH, USA; Jason Day during the second round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports