The world number three looked destined to pocket the $1.67 million winning prize.
Jon Rahm had established a six-shot lead atop the Memorial Tournament leaderboard and appeared to be delighted with Saturday’s six-birdie, back-nine 30 but his happiness was short-lived.
Rahm, who began his second round with a hole-in-one, was pulled aside by a PGA Tour official and was informed that he had tested positive for Covid-19, meaning he could not continue in the tournament.
Rahm had a heartbreaking reaction to the unfortunate news as he doubled over in disbelief, exclaiming, “not again!” before making his way off the 18th green.
Wow. Rahm tested positive for Covid and has to withdraw. With a 6 shot lead. pic.twitter.com/ySwaIXQaNq
— Until. (@UntilGolf) June 5, 2021
“This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people,” Rahm said afterwards.
“I’m very thankful that my family and I are all OK. I will take all of the necessary precautions to be safe and healthy, and I look forward to returning to the golf course as soon as possible.”
Thoughts after today’s round pic.twitter.com/gWkBAWE42F
— Jon Rahm Rodriguez (@JonRahmpga) June 6, 2021
Jon Rahm forced to withdraw from Memorial
Rahm, whose positive Covid-19 test denied him the chance to become the first golfer since Tiger Woods to win the Memorial in back-to-back years, will now have to isolate for 10 days.
A Tour statement confirmed the Covid-19 protocols that Rahm went through after being identified as a close contact to a positive case.
The statement read: “On the evening Monday, May 31, the PGA Tour notified Jon Rahm that he was subject to contact-tracing protocols, as he had come in close contact with a person who was Covid positive.
“Per the Tour’s Covid health & safety plan, Rahm was given the option to remain in the competition and enter our tracing protocol, which includes daily testing and restricted access to indoor facilities. Rahm has remained asymptomatic.
“Rahm has tested negative every day, but his most recent test – which was performed after the conclusion of his second round (rain delayed) and before the start of his third round – returned positive at approximately 4.20pm Eastern Time while Rahm was on the golf course. The PGA Tour’s medical advisor requested a confirmatory test on the original sample, which came back at 6.05pm ET, and was also positive.”