Charl Scwhartzel has apparently joined his friend and countryman Louis Oosthuizen in deciding not to compete in this August’s Olympic golf revival.
We found out about this from South Africa golf team captain and nine-time major winner Gary Player, who posted a reaction to the news of their withdrawal, as well that of other top players, on Twitter.
My thoughts on players withdrawing from the Olympic Games… pic.twitter.com/nI5S5k5unq
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) April 25, 2016
“I am sad and disappointed that several top players have withdrawn from the Olympic Games in Rio,” Player wrote. “Not just South Africans. I would have give anything to play in the Olympics. South Africa had a great team, but now obviously, it wiill not be as good. Players withdrawing hurt the game of golf. I was sorry to hear that Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have withdrawn their names from consideration.”
Add those names to the likes of Adam Scott, Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who have all decided to pass on playing in the 60-player men’s Olympic tournament in Brazil. Several players have cited scheduling conflicts, perhaps valid based on the concentrated schedule of the four majors to accommodate Olympic golf, as well the potential spread of Zika virus, which causes birth defects in children.
No matter who winds up playing in the 60-player men’s and women’s events, Player believes this is a great opportunity for the field and the sport at large.
“The Olympics will undoubtedly grow the game worldwide no matter who plays and who doesn’t,” Player said. “All top players should think carefully about this.”