Golfer Jon Rahm Positive for COVID-19 Again, Will Not Be Able to Compete in Olympics
Nearly two months after testing positive for COVID-19 and being forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament, Spanish golfer Jon Rahm has again gotten a positive coronavirus result. This time, it will keep him from competing in the Tokyo Olympics.
Spain's Olympic committee said in a press release Sunday that the 26-year-old was required to be tested for COVID-19 three times ahead of traveling to the Games as he was recently in the United Kingdom for the British Open. His third test was positive.
With no time to find a replacement, Spain's sole golfer in the Olympics will be Adri Arnaus, 26.
"I've been fortunate to represent my country and win a championship for Spain around the world as an amateur. Playing in Tokyo would have given me a chance to win an Olympic gold medal for my country," he wrote in a statement shared on social media Sunday.
"I would have loved to have been the first Spanish Olympic gold medalist in golf, but unfortunately destiny had other plans. This is a great reminder for all of us that we're still in a pandemic, things are not over, and we still need to fight together to get through this the best we can. I wish all the great athletes representing Spain the best of luck as they compete in Tokyo," he added. "I will be watching and cheering them on from home."
In June, the 2021 U.S. Open champion got the coronavirus vaccine just prior to the Memorial Tournament in Ohio, but since it was within the 14-day period after his final dose, he wasn't considered fully vaccinated and was required to be tested daily. Following four days of negative tests, he was positive for COVID-19 and was informed he'd have to withdraw from the tournament while holding a 6-stroke lead.
"Looking back on it, yeah, I guess I wish I would have [gotten vaccinated] earlier, but thinking on scheduling purposes and having the PGA and defending Memorial, I was just - to be honest, it wasn't in my mind,'' Rahm said later that month, according to ESPN. "I'm not going to lie, I was trying to just get ready for a golf tournament. If I had done it a few days earlier, probably we wouldn't be having these conversations right now. It is what it is. We move on.''
Rahm said he understood why the PGA had the protocols in place, despite his disappointment about having to withdraw.
"I'm not going to lie, I was fully aware when I was in tracing protocol that that was a possibility. I knew that could happen. I was hoping it wouldn't," he reportedly said. "I was playing like it's not going to, but I support what the PGA Tour did. It could have been handled a little bit better possibly, but they did what they had to do."
It's been a rough day for golfers, as Team USA's Bryson DeChambeau was forced from the Olympics as well after a positive COVID test.
The PGA released a statement this weekend announcing that DeChambeau, 27, "tested positive as part of the final testing protocol before he left the United States for the Olympics 2020 in Japan."
"I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA," DeChambeau said in a statement. "Representing my country means the world to me and it was a tremendous honor to make this team. I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo. I will now focus on getting healthy, and I look forward to returning to competition once I am cleared to do so."
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.