Add Louis Oosthuizen to the growing list of male pro golfers who have withdrawn their names from consideration for the 2016 Olympic golf tournament.
The South African made the announcement Thursday in a release through his management company.
“I have always represented South Africa with pride so I didn’t make my decision without a great deal of thought,” he said in a statement.
Oosthuizen cited “family and scheduling issues” as why he won’t participate. The major golf schedule is truncated in 2016 to accommodate the Olympics, with the PGA Championship moving up to the end of July this year, played just two weeks after the Open Championship at Royal Troon. There’s also the threat of the Zika virus, spread by mosquitoes throughout Latin America and potentially into North America this summer. The virus, which can cause birth defects, can remain in the body for at least 6 months without outward symptoms, potentially scaring off players who are planning on expanding their families.
Ranked 12th in the Olympic Golf Ranking (which is based on the Official World Golf Ranking for the men), Oosthuizen would otherwise be slated to represent his country in the 60-player men’s tournament in Brazil in August. Branden Grace, ranked 11th in the world and in the OGR, is the top-ranked South African player. Charl Schwartzel, ranked 20th, would take Oosthuizen’s place.
Oosthuizen joins Aussie world No. 7 Adam Scott, former world No. 1 Vijay Singh and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez as players who have announced they will not compete in the Olympic golf tournament. No major female player has come out with a similar announcement.