Scott will skip Rio to focus on Majors

LOS ANGELES • Australian world No. 7 Adam Scott has confirmed he will skip the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.

The 2013 Masters champion had long indicated that he had little interest in going to Rio for golf's long-awaited return to the Games after 112 years, preferring to focus all his efforts around the sport's traditional four Major championships.

The 35-year-old cited scheduling conflicts as the main reason for opting out.

"My decision has been taken as a result of an extremely busy playing schedule around the time of the Olympics and other commitments, both personal and professional," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I have informed the Australian team captain (Ian Baker-Finch) and relevant authorities, who are understanding of my position and I wish the Australian Olympic team the very best of luck in Rio."

Baker-Finch had hoped Scott would put his indifference to competing at the Games to one side and form a powerful team with world No. 1 Jason Day, who is expected to compete.

Marc Leishman, 32, is next in line to take Scott's spot but the world No. 34 said he would consider any potential threat posed by the Zika virus to the health of his wife Audrey, who has immune system issues, before deciding whether to compete.

The sport's return at the Aug 5-21 Olympics has been met with varying degrees of enthusiasm from top golfers and 53-year-old Fijian Vijay Singh, a three-time Major winner, announced last week that Zika virus fears would prevent him from going to Brazil.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2016, with the headline 'Scott will skip Rio to focus on Majors'. Print Edition | Subscribe