Memorial not so memorable for COVID positive Rahm

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Jon Rahm equalled the largest 54-hole lead at The Memorial but had to withdraw after returning a positive test. Photo: Yahoo News

In a day of swinging fortunes for Jon Rahm, the Spaniard played 23 holes at The Memorial Tournament, including a second-round ace on the par-3 16th hole and a third-round 8-under 64, but had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID 19.

Following Rahm’s withdrawal on Saturday, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay will play in the final pairing tied at 12-under 204.

Rahm equalled the largest 54-hole lead (6 strokes/Tiger Woods/2000) and low 54-hole score (198/Scott Hoch/1987) at the Memorial Tournament.

Prior to Rahm, the last time a leader/co-leader withdrew prior to the start of the following round was second-round leader Hunter Mahan at the 2013 RBC Canadian Open (withdrew 50 minutes before his third-round tee time when his wife went into labour); the last player to lead/co-lead after a round and later withdraw in the tournament was first-round leader Erik Compton at the 2015 Wyndham Championship (withdrew prior to the third round with an ankle injury).

The final pairing on Sunday will consist of two of the last three winners at Muirfield Village Golf Club (Morikawa/2020 Workday Charity Open, Cantlay/2019 the Memorial Tournament).

After opening with two bogeys, Si Woo Kim shot six birdies for a 68 to move up to T6. Kim, winner of The American Express in January, is chasing his first top-10 at the Memorial Tournament in what is his sixth appearance at Muirfield Village.

In only his 13th PGA Tour start, Australia’s Lucas Herbert will enter the final round in T6 after a third round 71. He is making his debut in the tournament and chasing a career first top-10 on TOUR. Best finish on PGA Tour is T31 at the 2020 U.S. Open. He holds one European Tour win at the 2020 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

PGA Tour statement on Rahm

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 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 4:20 p.m. ET 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 6:05 p.m. ET, and was also positive.

The PGA Tour’s medical advisor notified Rahm immediately upon completion of his round, and under Tour protocols, he will be withdrawn from the competition. Rahm is now in isolation, and in accordance with CDC guidelines, he will need to remain in isolation through Tuesday, June 15.

While this is an incredibly unfortunate situation, throughout 50 events since the PGA Tour’s Return to Golf, there have been only four positive tests (including Rahm) within competition; Rahm is the first positive, asymptomatic case as part of the Tour’s routine, contact-tracing protocols.

Text courtesy: PGA Tour

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