Rio 2016: Olympics participation important for golf - Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia
Spaniard Sergio Garcia is currently 12th in the world rankings

Sergio Garcia will compete at Rio this summer and says golf's return to the Olympic Games after 112 years is important in helping the sport grow.

World number one Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are among those to have pulled out of the competition due to concerns about the Zika virus.

Garcia, 36, said he knew of the dangers but representing Spain and being an Olympian was "too important".

Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge has also withdrawn, but cited business reasons.

Masters winner Danny Willett said earlier this week he is willing to "risk" a trip to Brazil to compete in August.

The Zika virus is mosquito-borne and has been linked to defects in newborn babies, prompting those looking to start a family to take extra precautions.

Olympic chiefs and the World Health Organisation have issued guidance for athletes and visitors to Rio and say the risk of catching Zika is low.

Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia wrote on Twitter that he will be competing at Rio in August

Meanwhile, De Jonge's decision to withdraw comes as competing in Rio would mean missing two PGA Tour events.

De Jonge is 160th on the FedEx Cup points list and needs to finish in the top 125 at the end of the season to keep full playing rights.

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