Garcia commits to Rio Olympics


Sergio Garcia has handed the Olympic golf tournament a boost by confirming he will compete at Rio 2016.

Golf's return to the Olympic programme for the first time in 112 years has been hit by a spate of withdrawals, with star names such as world number one Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen among those to pull out.

Many players cited the Zika virus when announcing they will miss the event, while the scheduling of the tournament has prompted others to opt against participating.

However, Garcia - the world number 12 and one of his sport's most recognisable names - will put aside his doubts to play for the Spanish team.

A post from the 36-year-old's official Twitter account on Wednesday read: "I know there r [sic] some dangers but representing Spain, trying to make golf grow & becoming an Olympian r too important so I'll be at @Olympics."

Four-time major runner-up Garcia is Spain's highest-ranked golfer, ahead of Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

Garcia won the Byron Nelson Invitational in May, his ninth PGA Tour title to go with 11 victories on the European Tour. 

Garcia has also enjoyed great success in the Ryder Cup, playing his part in five wins for Europe against the United States.

On the day Garcia confirmed he will head to Rio, Zimbabwe's Brendon De Jonge announced his withdrawal.

"The reason for my decision is not my concern about the Zika virus. It is truly a business decision," said De Jonge in a statement to Golf Channel, in which he cited the importance of not missing regular-season events as he looks to retain his PGA Tour card.