Brendon de Jonge withdraws from Rio Olympics
By Andy Swales
Last Updated: 06/07/16 9:49am
Brendon de Jonge has become the 12th golfer to withdraw from next month's Olympic Games in Brazil.
However, the Zimbabwean has not cited the threat of the Zika virus as his reason for pulling out of the competition.
Instead, de Jonge has opted not to travel to Rio de Janeiro because he is desperately struggling to retain his PGA Tour playing privileges for next year.
The 35-year-old is currently a lowly 160th in the FedEx Cup standings, having missed the cut in 15 of his 19 starts this year.
And if he fails to play his way into the top 125 by the end of the Wyndham Championship on August 21, he will not retain his Tour Card for the 2016/17 season.
Should he decide to play in Brazil, he will have to miss two events on the PGA Tour schedule, so de Jonge has taken a pragmatic approach to his current ranking issues and pulled out of the Olympics.
Just over one year ago, de Jonge was in the top 100 of the World Ranking but, following a poor run of form, has slipped down to 319.
It is truly a business decision. It would have been a great honour to play for my country.
Brendon de Jonge
De Jonge's plight has not been helped by the cancellation of this week's Greenbrier Classic, because of flooding in West Virginia, leaving just five remaining events for him to play in.
He has finished inside the top 100 of the FedEx Cup standings in each of the past six years but, since mid-January, has failed to post a top-50 on the PGA Tour.
He said: "The reason for my decision is not my concern about the Zika virus.
"It is truly a business decision. It would have been a great honour to play for my country.
"I am truly disappointed but my current position on the FedEx Cup points list does not allow me the luxury to skip the John Deere Classic or the Travelers Championship. This has to be a priority for me and my family."
His decision means Zimbabwe is unlikely to have a representive in the men's golf event.
Among the dozen golfers to have already pulled out of the Olympics are Rory McIlory and Jason Day.