Rahm, on the right, punched his playing partner Pat rick Cantlay at the end of their round on Saturday. Credit ... Tannen Maury / EPA, via Shutterstock
Late Saturday night, Rahm posted a statement on Twitter , saying it was"very disappointed to have to withdraw from the memorial tournament. It's one of those things that happens in life, one of those times when how we react to a setback defines us as people. I am very grateful that my family and I are all doing well. I will take everything He took the necessary precautions to be safe and healthy, and I can't wait to get back to the golf course as soon as possible. tournament and the designer of the golf course, wrote on his Twitter feed shortly after the third round: "Our hearts go out to Jon and his family as well as to all the customers who witnessed Jon's spectacular ride. - to be contradicted by this horrible pandemic that our world continues to experience. "
Nicklaus, who is 81 years old and contracted Covid-19 with his wife Barbara in 2020 added: "I wish Jon a speedy recovery and hope he returns to competition soon.
According to the PGA Tour, Rahm was informed on Monday that he would be subject to contact tracing because he had come into close contact with an unidentified person who had been tested positive for the virus. Tour protocols allowed Rahm to stay in the tournament if he agreed to be tested every day and avoided using indoor facilities during the event.
Rahm 's test results were negative for four days, but his most recent test, carried out on Saturday morning, came back positive at 4:20 pm A second test on the original sample provided by Rahm , who is asymptomatic, tested positive at 6:05 pm, just before he completed his third round.
"C 'is a very unfortunate situation, obviously, "said Andy Levinson, senior vice president of PGA Tour tournament administration. " The protocol we have in place for the last 50 events is being followed at the letter, and unfortunately we are in a situation where we are tonight. "
Levinson was asked if there was an option that would allow Rahm to play alone Sunday's final round if he stayed at least six feet from the others in what is a large outdoor space. Levinson said tour medical advisors did not recommend participating in a competition the day after a confirmed positive test.
Patrick Cantlay, who played with Rahm on Saturday and became the new tournament leader with Collin Morikawa, seemed stunned by the news at a Saturday night press conference.
"I'm sure qIt 's not as much of a jerk for me as it is for him, "Cantlay said. "This is the worst situation that something like this could happen, and unfortunately I guess we knew there was a potential lurking there even when we came back to golf. is just extremely unhappy. ”
Cantlay said he had Covid earlier this year and had not been vaccinated. The tour paused for three months after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic in March 2020.
Rahm, who has won five PGA Tour events, must isolate for 10 days unless he is negative in two more virus screens 24 hours apart. Levinson did not disclose whether Rahm received the Covid-19 vaccine; after Recent revisions, the tour guidelines no longer require weekly testing for fully vaccinated players.Vaccinated players would also not be subject to the contact tracing Rahm underwent this week. Levinson said the tour tracked vaccinations among players and that more than 50 percent of its more than 200 players have been fully vaccinated.
Levinson said also asked why Rahm was being notified in such a public setting by the tour's medical chief, Dr Tom Hospel, ra anywhere other than a private room, away from TV cameras and a crowd of thousands. Levinson replied that it was "difficult to find a perfect opportunity to brief him ". He added: "But our medical adviser informed him before he started scoring, and that's how it happened.
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.t in the marker tent just after the end of his turn. Scheffler knew that Rahm, who knocked out No. 16 in the second round, was leading, and he was confused by the distress on Rahm's face.
" I kind of smiled at him, thinking: 'Why? What happened? ’” Scheffler said. "He just said 'Good luck tomorrow. '
Scheffler also wished Rahm good luck in the final round. Rahm told him he had just failed a coronavirus test.
"My heart just sank, it's terrible happened, ”said Scheffler, who also had Covid. "My heart is still - it sinks just for it and I feel bad. Image Rahm had equaled the record of 54 trou and built a six-stroke lead on Saturday, leaving him on the verge of becoming just the second golfer to repeat as Memorial champion. Tiger Woods won the event three years in a row, from 1999 to 2001. Credit. .. Darron Cummings / Associated Press