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South Africa's Paula Reto becomes first female golfer to withdraw from Olympics with a positive COVID test

July 29, 2021

Gregory Shamus

The International Golf Federation announced the first female golfer to test positive for COVID-19 in the run-up to the women’s Olympic golf tournament. In the midst of the final part of her safety protocol, South Africa’s Paula Reto returned a positive test and will have to withdraw from the tournament.

Reto, 31, is in her seventh season on the LPGA Tour, her best finishing coming third place showing at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. She is currently 388th on the Rolex Women’s World Ranking and her best showing in 2021 was a T-14 at the Volunteers of America Classic. She is playing this week at the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Ireland, having posted a one-over 74 in the opening round at Massereene Golf Club in Galgorm, Northern Ireland.

The IGF announced that replacing Reto in the field will be Diksha Dagar of India, who was the nest available athlete on the IGF Reallocation Reserve List.

Two players tested positive for COVID ahead of the men’s tournament, World No. 1 Jon Rahm of Spain and American Bryson DeChambeau, sixth in the World Ranking.

The women’s Olympic tournament starts Aug. 4 and will be played at Kasumigaseki Golf Club, the same location as this week’s men’s tournament.