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Marc Leishman rules himself out of Olympics due to Zika virus concerns

The Australian has chosen not to compete after his wife’s health scare last year.

Leishman: currently ranked 35th in the world.
Leishman: currently ranked 35th in the world.
Image: Jae C. Hong

AUSTRALIA’S MARC LEISHMAN has become the latest golfer to pull out of the Rio Olympics, citing concerns over the Zika virus and his wife’s health as the reason behind his decision.

Leishman’s announcement comes after fellow Australian golfer Adam Scott and former world number one Vijay Singh also withdrew from the competition last month.

Leishman’s wife Audrey almost died from toxic shock syndrome last year, and as a result, the world number 35 has decided against making the trip to South America.

Golf Olympics Leishman Out Source: Phelan M. Ebenhack

“Many of you may know that last April my children and I almost lost my wife, Audrey, to toxic shock syndrome,” he said.

We have consulted with Audrey’s physician and due to her ongoing recovery from toxic shock and potential risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, it was a difficult yet easy decision not to participate.

Since then, Audrey has made a full recovery and despite golf being included in the Games for the first time since 1904, Leishman is avoiding putting his wife’s health at risk.

“I missed playing in the 2015 Masters tournament to be at her side when she was originally stricken and I cannot risk placing her health in jeopardy.”

Golf returns to the Olympics after a 112-year absence but many big names have chosen not to play.

With Leishman out of the picture, Australia’s next highest-ranked male golfer is Marcus Fraser, the world number 63.

Australia’s Olympic golf team will be announced on 11 July.

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Emma Duffy

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