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Dustin Johnson will skip Olympics because of concern about Zika

U.S. Open champion  Dustin Johnson is skipping the Olympics  because he is concerned about the Zika virus. (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)
U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson is skipping the Olympics because he is concerned about the Zika virus. (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)
Associated Press

DALLAS – U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson is withdrawing from the Olympics because he is concerned about the Zika virus.

Johnson becomes the 13th player to pull out of the field for the Rio Games, where golf makes its return after a 112-year absence. Patrick Reed is expected to replace him.

Johnson released a statement through one of his representatives on Friday.

Johnson and his fiancee, Paulina, plan to have more children “in the near future,” according to the golfer, and he feels it would be irresponsible to put his family at risk. The Zika virus can cause severe birth defects and babies being born with abnormally small heads.

Seven other players who have pulled out specifically cited Zika, including world No. 1 Jason Day and world No. 4 Rory McIlroy.

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