Saturday, June 25, 2016

Branden Grace joins the ranks of those skipping the Olympics

At this point, the question isn't who's not playing in the Olympics.

It's: Who actually is playing in the Olympics?

South African Branden Grace became the third player just this week to announce he was removing his name from consideration for the 60-player men's Olympic golf tournament in Brazil in August. Grace, like his fellow countrymen Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, has concerns about Zika virus.

Golf Channel first reported on Grace's decision, confirmed by his representation at IMG.

Grace had been in line to take a spot in the field, but the 11th-ranked player who already won at Harbour Town this year is taking a pass. At this point, the two South African berths in the men's tournament go to world No. 59 Jaco Van Zyl and world No. 101 Brandon Stone.

Add Grace to Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell on the list of players this week to say they're not going to make the trek to Rio de Janeiro. These three join Schwartzel, Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Vijay Singh, Tim Wilkinson and Miguel Angel Jimenez on the list of players who have withdrawn their names from consideration.

World No. 1 Jason Day is also on the fence about competing, as are Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Danny Willett.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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