Dustin Johnson became the third player ranked in the top four in the world to say he will skip golf’s return to the Olympics due to Zika virus concerns.
“As an athlete, I can think of no greater honor than representing the United States in the Olympic Games,” Johnson said in a statement Friday night, according to Golf Channel. “However, after much careful consideration and discussion with both my family and my team, I have made the decision to withdraw from the 2016 Olympic Games. This was not an easy decision for me, but my concerns about the Zika virus cannot be ignored. [Wife] Paulina and I plan to have more children in the near future, and I feel it would be irresponsible to put myself, her or our family at risk.”
Johnson, ranked No. 2 in the world, joins world No. 1 Jason Day of New Zealand and No. 4 Rory McIlroy of Ireland in opting out of the Rio Games due to Zika concerns. Golf returns to the Olympics after a 112-year absence.
Johnson is the first American currently in Olympic qualifying position to say he will skip Rio. World No. 3 Jordan Spieth has not decided if he will play.
The Olympic golf field will be determined by world rankings on Monday.
With Johnson out, the top four U.S. golfers are Spieth, No. 5 Bubba Watson, No. 7 Rickie Fowler and No. 13 Patrick Reed.
If any of them withdraw, No. 15 Matt Kuchar would be next up, should he not fall in the rankings Monday. No American ranked outside the top 15 can play in Rio due to country maximum limits.
MORE: First elite women’s golfer withdraws from Olympics, cites Zika
Look close at Mikaela Shiffrin as she steps into a race start gate for the first time in eight months on Oct. 17.
Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, plans to wear a helmet with two special stickers on the back.
She’s donned the first decal for years — the initials ABFTTB, which stand for “Always Be Faster Than The Boys,” a personalized autograph motto from retired Olympic Alpine skier Heidi Voelker.
The new sticker reads, Be nice. Think first. Have fun.
Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.
After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”
Be nice. Think first.
When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.
“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”
She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.
Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.
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2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …
Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)
Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174
Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51
Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39
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