Jon Rahm joins Bryson DeChambeau in withdrawing from the Olympics after positive COVID test
Jon Rahm celebrates making a putt for birdie on the 18th green at Torrey Pines during the final round that clinched victory at the 2021 U.S. Open.
Sean M. Haffey
A second major champion in men’s golf has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be able to compete in this week’s Olympic men’s tournament.
The International Golf Federation announced on Sunday that Jon Rahm was in the midst of the final testing protocol before leaving for Tokyo when he tested positive. According to the Spanish Olympic Committee, this was Rahm's third test taken before traveling. Because of the positive test, the reigning U.S. Open champion and top-ranked golfer in the world will not be able to compete for Spain.
Later in the day, Rahm took to social media to comment about what happened.
The news on Rahm came roughly six hours after the IGF announced that Bryson DeChambeau of the U.S. had tested positive and would have to withdraw from the Olympics as well.
Rahm’s positive test comes less than two months after the 26-year-old Spaniard tested positive for COVID while playing in the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament. Rahm was in the tour’s testing protocol at the time, testing negative on a daily basis and thus allowed to complete in the tournament. He had built up six-stroke lead at the end of the third round when the PGA Tour informed him that he had tested positive and would be forced to withdraw from the event.
Rahm subsequently was vaccinated and came back with negative test results ahead of the U.S. Open two weeks later, was cleared to play by the USGA under its health protocols, and went on win his first career major at Torrey Pines.
While the U.S. said it would replace DeChambeau with another American, Patrick Reed, the Spanish Olympic Committee originally announced it would not have a replacement for Rahm due to the fact it did not have “adequate time” to find a replacement and comply with the necessary health protocols required. However, it was subsequently announced that Jorge Campillo would indeed be the golfer to replace Rahm, joining Adri Arnaus for Spain in the men’s competition, which begins Thursday at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kasahata, Saitama, Japan, about 35 miles northwest of downtown Tokyo.
To replace Rahm, the IGF stated that it will use its Late Replacement Policy to find the next available athlete, but did not say who that golfer is at this time.