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Gary Player rips Jordan Spieth and other golfers for skipping Olympics due to Zika fears

(Matt Slocum/AP)

Golf legend Gary Player isn’t happy with the likes of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and others who have decided not to participate in the upcoming Rio Olympics because of fears over the Zika virus.

“This excuse about Zika is feeble,” the 18-time major champion told FOX Business’s Stuart Varney on Wednesday. “You have Zika in America in some states right now. You’ve got more of a chance of being killed by a gun or a motor car in America than getting Zika. … I think it’s pathetic and I’m sad to see it.”

Jordan Spieth says Zika was just one concern he had about Rio Olympics

Player, who will turn 81 in November, lamented that he never got the chance to play in the Olympics. The sport is only returning to the Games this year after a 112-year absence.

“If I could’ve, with my 18 majors and 165 tournaments, had an Olympic gold medal amongst them, it would’ve been the joy of my life,” he said. “I would have given anything. I would have taken a rowing boat and rowed over to play in the Olympics.”

Player suspects that because so many golfers have decided not to play in Rio — including the top four in the world right now in Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Spieth and McIlroy — the sport may not be invited back when the summer Olympics head to Tokyo in 2020.

“I wouldn’t blame them if they kicked us out,” he said.

Player offered a solution, though. He said “professional golf should be kicked out” to make room for amateurs.

“We all worked hard to get golf in the Olympics,” he said. “They should replace us with amateurs who would hold it at high esteem to represent their country with great joy.”