Dustin Johnson says no to the 2021 Olympics
March 17, 2021
Prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, several top professional golfers did not make themselves available for the Olympic golf tournament for various reasons, with the Zika virus listed as one of the primary concerns mentioned for so many withdrawals. The list included Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Marc Leisman, Vijay Singh, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, and Graeme McDowell.
With the Olympic Games in Tokyo four months away, world number one Dustin Johnson of Columbia, South Carolina became the first golfer to announce his withdrawal according to Jordan Beall of Golf Digest. Now the question is how many will follow, and if we will see a repeat from five years ago.
Time will tell. However, what we do know is that coronavirus is significantly more problematic than the Zika virus and that even though many Olympians will be vaccinated by the summer, Japan continues to be hit hard by the disease. There have been 448,688 total cases of coronavirus in Japan and 8,622 deaths. It should be remembered that Johnson has already tested positive for coronavirus.
The United States will be a strong medal contender in the men’s Olympic golf competition, regardless of who they put on the course. A maximum of four players are allowed per country. The four Americans who would qualify at this time are Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, and Xander Schauffele. This all-star cast is still all ranked in the top six in the world.
What this also means is that Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters Champion, the world number seven is on the outside looking in, as are Patrick Cantlay and Webb Simpson, who are also ranked in the top 10. The defending Olympic champion is England’s Justin Rose, who represents Great Britain at the Olympic Games. Rose is currently ranked 38th. Interestingly, Rose would not qualify either as he is presently ranked behind Tyrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, and Tommy Fleetwood among British players.
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