DUBLIN, Ohio — Jon Rahm, the PGA Tour favorite and the world’s third-biggest man, took a six-stroke lead on Saturday in the third round of the Memorial Tournament, an event where he Won last year … walking from the 18th hole where the crowd surrounded Green applauded him warmly. Rahm, 26, shook hands with his playmates and smiled.
The next second, he had twice as many tears and tears. His left hand was wrapped around his face. Tour’s doctors met Rahm at the edge of the green and informed him he had tested positive for the coronavirus. The results were reported to the Tour as Rahm was shooting a glittering eight-under 64 on a difficult course at Muirfield Village Golf Course. Rahm will be forced to withdraw from the tournament and miss the final on Sunday.
Rahm hid his face in his hand for a moment. Then stood up straight before staggering as he began to climb a steep hill. Wipe his eyes as he walked towards the adjacent clubhouse.
“Not anymore,” he said, although it was unclear what his response meant. It is not yet known whether Rahm was fully vaccinated. In the past year, though, he has frequently spoken of concerns about the health of his family in his native Spain and the devastation the virus has brought to communities near his hometown. Rahm currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Kelly. He met while a student at Arizona and their two-month-old son, Kepa Cahill.
Late on Saturday night, Rahm posted on Twitter saying he “Very disappointed to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament, this is one of the things that happened in my life. The moment in which we respond to failure defines us as a person. I am very grateful that my family and I are fine. I will take all necessary precautions for safety and good health. And I hope to be back on the golf course as soon as possible.”
Jack Nicklaus, Memorial Tournament manager and golf course designer, wrote on his Twitter feed shortly after the third round: “Congratulations to Jon and his family. Including all the patrons who watched the spectacular race by Jon — only to be rejected by this horrible plague. Our world continues.”
Nicklaus, who is 81 years old and tested positive for COVID-19. along with Barbara his wife in 2020 added: “I wish Jon a speedy recovery. And hopefully he’ll be back to compete soon.”
According to the PGA Tour, Rahm was told on Monday that he would need to be followed. Because he had been in close contact with an unidentified person who tested positive for the virus. Tour regulations allow Rahm to remain at the tournament if he agrees to take daily tests and avoid using indoor facilities at the event.
Rahm’s test result was negative for four days. But his latest test, which was conducted on Saturday morning. It came back positive at 4:20 PM. A second test on the same sample provided by Rahm, who was symptomless, was positive at 6:05:00 before he finished his third round.
“It’s obviously a very unfortunate situation,” said Andy Levinson, senior vice president of event management for the PGA Tour. “The protocols we have for the last 50 events are being followed in the letter. And unfortunately we are in the situation we are in tonight.”
Levinson was asked if there was an option to allow Rahm to play Sunday’s final on his own. If he is at least six feet away from others in a large outdoor area. Levinson said the Tour’s medical advisers were not advised to attend the event the day after a positive test result was confirmed.
Patrick Cantlay, who played against Rahm on Saturday and became the new tournament leader along with Collin Morikawa, appeared to be shocked by the news at a news conference on Saturday night.
“I’m sure it didn’t frighten me as much as it did for him,” Cantley said. “It’s an even worse situation that something like this could happen. And unfortunately, I guess we know this could be something that might be lurking even if we’re back in golf. It is very unfortunate.”
Cantlay said he had Covid earlier this year and had not been vaccinated. The tour has been closed for three months after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic in March 2020.
Rahm, a five-time PGA Tour winner, will be quarantined for 10 days unless he tests negative for the virus in two more tests, 24 hours apart. Did you get the COVID-19 vaccine after the latest fix? Tour guidelines do not require weekly testing for fully vaccinated players. Vaccinated players will not be subject to follow-up contact that Rahm received this week. Levinson said the tour was followed by vaccinations among the players. And more than 200 players have been fully vaccinated, more than 50 percent.
Levinson was also asked why Rahm was informed publicly by the Tour’s chief physician, Dr Tom Hospell, rather than in a private room. away from television cameras and crowds of thousands. Levinson replied that “It was difficult to find the right opportunity to inform him,” he added: “But our medical advisor informed him before he scored. And that’s how it works.”
Scottie Scheffler, who is now tied for third place, three strokes behind Cantlay and Morikawa, was one of the first players to see Rahm as he entered the scoring tent after the round. One hole at No. 16 in the second round was taking the lead, and he was confused by the distress on Rahm’s face.
“I smiled at him and thought: ‘Why? What happened?’” Scheffler said. “He just went, ‘Good luck tomorrow.’”
Scheffler wished Rahm good luck in the final too, Rahm told him he had just failed a coronavirus test.
“My heart almost collapsed. It’s too bad it happened,” said Chevler, who also has coronavirus. “My heart is still it sank for him And I feel terrible.”