Shane Lowry withdraws from the Olympics as Graeme Mcdowell gets Open spot

Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry has become the latest Irish golfer to announce his withdrawal from consideration for the Rio Olympics.

The 29-year-old joins an ever-increasing group of players who won't compete in Brazil because of concerns over the zika virus.

Lowry's announcement comes just hours after world number Jason Day confirmed that he won't be taking part for the same reason.

The virus has been linked to brain defects in newborn babies.

The pair join an expanding list of high-profile players to withdraw from the field, including Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Adam Scott and Vijay Singh.

Lowry's decision means that world number 283 Seamus Power is now next in line to join Padraig Harrington as Ireland's two representatives in Rio.
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Also in golf, Graeme McDowell has been handed a late invite to this year's Open Championship.

The Ulsterman has been added to the field as one of the highest-ranked non-exempt players.

This year's Open takes place at Royal Troon from July 14th to 17th.