Spain's Sergio Garcia, South African Louis Oosthuizen and England's Tyrrell Hatton announced their intentions against representing their respective countries in the upcoming Olympic Games.
The Olympic golf event will be held July 29-Aug. 1 at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan."I have made one of the most difficult decisions of my life," Garcia wrote on Twitter. "I love the Olympic Games and it is always an honor to represent Spain, however my No. 1 sporting priority is in the Ryder Cup at this moment. Everyone knows what the Ryder Cup means to me. My No. 1 objective it to qualify for the European team by my own merit and not have to wait for a possible invitation. To represent Spain in the Olympic Games is a gift and enormous responsibility, and it requires 100% mental focus."
Garcia, who is 48th in the Official World Golf Rankings, will be replaced by Rafa Cabrera Bello in the upcoming Olympic Games. Garcia previously competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Oosthuizen, who is 12th in the Official World Golf Rankings, cited his desire to finish a strong FedExCup season as well as family commitments for his reason to opt out of the Olympics.
"Qualifying for the Olympics is a humbling accomplishment, and there's no greater honor than representing your country, so it has been a very difficult decision for me, my team and my family to withdraw from playing in Tokyo," Oosthuizen wrote. "I am focused on finishing a strong FedExCup season in the States, in addition to honoring family commitments with the new life we are building at the farm. Family has always been my core, and this is the best decision for us at this time in our lives. My best are with the South Africans competing. We will be cheering you on!"
With Oosthuizen out, Christiaan Bezuidenhout will join countryman Garrick Higgo in representing South Africa at the Olympics.
Hatton, who is 11th in the Official World Golf Rankings, cited COVID-19 concerns and a hectic schedule for his reasoning against competing in the Olympics.
"I was very much looking forward to representing my country, however, with the ongoing issues relating to COVID-19 and international travel, along with the congested schedule we now face, I feel it is the correct decision to ensure I get the best out of my game for the remainder of the season," Hatton wrote. "I look forward to attempting to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 and wish Team (Great Britain) all the best this summer along with every athletes competing in the Games."
Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood will be representing England.
American Dustin Johnson, England's Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood and Australian Adam Scott previously announced that they would not be competing in the Olympics.
--Field Level Media