From heaven to hell in a second. Jon Rahm signed an anthological round of eight strokes under par this Saturday at the Memorial Tournament, organized by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, to take the lead with -18, the historic record of the tournament at that point and six ahead of Morikawa and Cantlay with missing of a day, that of this Sunday, that seemed to be in process to revalidate the title that he already won last year. And suddenly, everything fell apart. After the congratulations of his colleagues and the caddies With whom he shared a round, a member of the organization approached him, even before handing over the card, and told him that he had tested positive for COVID and that he should immediately leave the tournament. Rahm put his hands to his head and a few minutes later his name was no longer at the top of the rankings.
The mess is considerable not only for Jon Rahm, who was not vaccinated, now he must be in quarantine until June 15 and therefore it will be very fair to arrive at the US Open, the second big of the season, which is held from 17 to June 20th. Also for the American circuit (PGA Tour), which has seen how one of its great stars, the world number three, has to leave a tournament when he was leader after the third day and after having shared a round (without a mask and without special measure of distancing) with other players, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler, for hours. These last two golfers, curiously, had already passed the covid. In addition, Rahm had to play this Saturday the five holes that he had to play on the second day (the day was delayed due to the rain of the previous day) and the entire round on Saturday itself. A small marathon that embroidered in his game, with wonderful shots from the street and a tremendous success with the putt, and that it brought him closer to repeating a triumph that last year was historic. With his victory in 2020, Rahm rose to number one in world golf.
The PGA Tour then explained that this past Monday, May 31, Jon Rahm was informed that he had been in contact with a person who had tested positive. They then gave him the option of playing the tournament, being subjected to daily controls and a special sanitary protocol with restrictions on access to internal areas. Rahm, asymptomatic, tested negative in the first tests until this Saturday he tested positive at the end of the second round and just before the third began. The test was repeated and came back positive, so two representatives of the medical body informed Rahm of the situation at the end of his day. The PGA recalled in a statement that since the return of golf, 50 tournaments on the American circuit have been played and that there have only been four positives, including that of Jon Rahm, the only asymptomatic.
“I am very disappointed to have to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament,” Rahm continued. “This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where the way we respond to a setback defines us as people. I am very grateful that my family and I are doing well. “
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.