U.S. Open runner-up Louis Oosthuizen, along with Sergio Garcia and Tyrrell Hatton all announced that they have opted out of the Olympic golf event, which will be contested July 29-Aug. 1 outside of Tokyo, Japan at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Oosthuizen will replaced by Christiaan Bezuidenhout (world No. 46), who will join Garrick Higgo on Team South Africa.
“Qualifying for the Olympics is a humbling accomplishment, and there’s no greater honor than representing your country, so it has been a very difficult decision for me, my team and my family to withdraw from playing in Tokyo,” said Oosthuizen.
“I am focused on finishing a strong FedExCup season in the States, in addition to honoring family commitments with the new life we are building at the farm. Family has always been my core, and this is the best decision for us at this time in our lives. My best are with the South Africans competing. We will be cheering you on!”
Garcia was replaced by Rafa Cabrera Bello, who will team with world No. 1 Jon Rahm, the winner of last week’s U.S. Open.
“I have made one of the most difficult decisions of my life,” said Garcia.
“I love the Olympic Games and it is always an honor to represent Spain, however my No. 1 sporting priority is in the Ryder Cup at this moment. Everyone knows what the Ryder Cup means to me.
“My No. 1 objective it to qualify for the European team by my own merit and not have to wait for a possible invitation.
“To represent Spain in the Olympic Games is a gift and enormous responsibility, and it requires 100% mental focus.”
Tommy Fleetwood was the alternate for Hatton. He will play alongside Paul Casey for the Great Britain team.
“I was very much looking forward to representing my country, however, with the ongoing issues relating to COVID-19 and international travel, along with the congested schedule we now face, I feel it is the correct decision to ensure I get the best out of my game for the remainder of the season,” said Hatton.
“I look forward to attempting to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 and wish Team [Great Britain] all the best this summer along with every athletes competing in the Games.”