Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lydia Ko not concerned about Zika, will play in Olympic Games

World No. 1 Lydia Ko isn't worried about Zika virus. Then again, at 19 years old and looking this week for a third consecutive major at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, she has plenty to occupy her mind.

After all, it's not like the Kiwi teen is planning on starting a family anytime soon.

“I'm more excited about the Olympics, about the ceremony, about just being in that Olympic vibe than worrying about the Zika virus,” Ko said Wednesday at Sahalee Country Club in Washington. “There are so many experts that are taking care of all that. We've got a great team of people that are doing that."

Several top-ranked male players, including major champions like Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Ooshuizen, have withdrawn their names from consideration. They've cited concerns about scheduling, but the primary fear is transmitting Zika virus, which is spread primarily through mosquito bite. Zika can cause birth defects. World No. 1 Jason Day has said he is concerned about possible infection. World No. 3 Rory McIlroy said it concerned him as well, but came around to saying last week in Ohio that he would participate in the 60-player men's tournament in Rio.

So far, no major female player has withdrawn their name from consideration. In fact, the Olympic excitement from top female golfers has been largely palpable -- a characterization that can't be made about a lot of male players.

“So for us, it's more important that we enjoy it and we're excited about it. And to all the girls that I've talked to, that's kind of the response," Ko said. "We're all excited to go to Brazil and represent our countries and be there amongst the other Olympians. It's unfortunate with what's happening with the Zika, but we all trust the people that are taking care of it. We've just got to trust them and it's in their hands now.”

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

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