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Published: 11:32 | 29/6/16

Spieth undecided on Olympics


Jordan Spieth has yet to make a decision on his Olympic participation and admits he feels under pressure following a number of high-profile withdrawals.

Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Marc Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh have all decided not to compete at the Rio Olympics citing fears over the Zika virus.

Should Spieth commit to playing in Brazil he would be the highest-ranked player competing and the two-time major winner admits he feels extra pressure to participate.

"Right now, I'm uncertain," Spieth told reporters ahead of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. "Do I feel an added burden? Potentially. I think all four of the Americans do.

"I feel like one of four with maybe a slightly higher burden now that the guys have dropped out.

"I've always been excited about the possibility but there's quite a few different factors that would turn somebody away from going.

"I have not received enough information to make an informed decision either way or not so as we gather more information I will be able to make a decision one way or the other.

"When I feel confident, I will make a decision either side."

Athletes from other sports have criticised golfers from turning down the opportunity to play in the Olympics but Spieth insists he will not be pressurised into competing.

"I've heard some stories on both sides about the security threats that Brazil and Rio have," Spieth added.

"Transportation is a big security issue down there, how to get from one place to another with the different kind of violence that we don't see here.

"I'm going to get answers soon on how we plan to be secured down there.

"This is personal safety type and future planning-type decision which is going to outweigh any pressure that we feel (to compete)."

Golf will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1906 but its future beyond Tokyo in 2020 is far from certain

"Let's not put me on save the Olympics. The Olympics are going to be fine," Spieth stated.

"No matter what I do there's already been enough players (withdrawing) that I think it'll definitely have an impact.

"Pending some crazy, great finish or whatever, I think there's a significantly lower likelihood now of it staying in the Olympics than there was six months ago."

Bubba Watson, meanwhile, will compete in Brazil because the former Masters champion and his wife cannot have children.

"If I was the other way and I was planning on having more kids, I would not go," Watson said. "But I'm not. I'm in a situation where that's not happening, so my decision was a lot easier.

"I've had to adopt my two kids. We can't have kids so that aspect is completely wiped away.

"I am 100 per cent in. There's ways I can get out: not making the team, the US Government or the Olympic association telling me I can't go.

"That would be the only way I'm not going - or a bad car wreck."

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