Women Carry Golf’s Torch Where Men Are Reluctant to Go

Piller’s enthusiasm is almost universally shared by her L.P.G.A. peers, contrasting sharply with an epidemic of ennui on the men’s side. On Saturday, Dustin Johnson, the world No. 2, removed himself from consideration for the Olympic teams, which will be set on Monday. Thirteen other players with PGA Tour ties — including Jason Day, the world No. 1, and three Americans besides Johnson — previously withdrew. The men have cited a number of reasons, including the fear of spreading the Zika virus, an infection that can cause birth defects, to their partners who are trying to become pregnant; an endless summer of big tournaments; and an imperative to improve their position in the FedEx Cup standings by playing concurrent PGA Tour events.

While many top male players have opted out of golf’s return to the Olympics after a 112-year absence, only one woman, Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa, has chosen to forgo the competition in Rio, even though the pool from which the field will be culled is filled with women of childbearing age.

When it comes to golf in the Olympics, why are the men unwilling while the women are able? The answer is…

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