Willett joins McIlroy in monitoring Zika outbreak


As it turns out, Rory McIlroy isn't the only high-profile European concerned about the recent Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.

One day after McIlroy told reporters that he was "monitoring" the Zika situation in Rio de Janeiro as the Olympics approach, Masters champ Danny Willett echoed McIlroy's comments during a press conference at the BMW PGA Championship.

"We are monitoring it. We've had an e-mail from the WHO (World Health Organization) and we are keeping on top of it," Willett said. "It's not great, is it? There's going to be 500,000 people watching the Olympics, and you have 11,000 athletes right in the heart of where it's at."

The virus, which can be transmitted both sexually and through mosquito bites, is known to cause birth defects in newborn babies. While players like Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen cited scheduling concerns when they recently withdrew from Olympic consideration, both Marc Leishman and Vijay Singh specifically noted Zika as a factor in their decision to turn down a potential bid.

Willett, like McIlroy, still appears likely to make the trek to Brazil in August. At No. 9 in the world rankings, he is currently projected to represent Great Britain alongside Justin Rose among the 60-man field.

But his wife, Nicole, gave birth to the couple's first child just days after his surprising Masters win, and Willett reiterated that they remain a priority in his decision making.

"If it turns out that it would be a massive threat to myself or to Nic or to the little man, then I probably wouldn't go. Family comes first," Willett said. "But as it stands at the minute, I think everything should be OK. We're down to go, and hopefully they can give us some proper guidelines as to how to keep it at bay and keep it under control so that it doesn't ruin what could be potentially a fantastic Olympics."

Should Willett opt to skip the Olympics, the next players in line for a spot on the Great Britain roster would be world No. 23 Russell Knox and No. 24 Paul Casey.