TOKYO — Less than six hours after it was announced Bryson DeChambeau would not compete in the Olympics due to a positive Covid test, the same fate has found Jon Rahm, the No. 1 player in the world.
Rahm’s positive test came during the final testing period before this week’s men’s competition, and is less than two months removed from his infamous positive test at the Memorial Tournament. Rahm held a 6-shot lead through three rounds of the event but was forced to withdraw after a positive test. That was June 5th.
“I’ve been fortunate to represent my country and win a championship for Spain around the world as an amateur. Playing in Tokyo would have given me a chance to win an Olympic gold medal for my country,” Rahm said in a statement on Twitter announcing his positive test. “I would have loved to have been the first Spanish Olympic gold medalist in golf, but unfortunately destiny had other plans. This is a great reminder for all of us that we’re still in a pandemic, things are not over, and we still need to fight together to get through this the best we can.”
While Rahm’s testing on the PGA Tour during that June incident went through multiple rounds of certifying the results, little information was shared about this most recent positive. Rahm said he had received one does of a vaccine in early June, adding further confusion to his positive test this weekend. At the time of the announcement, it was unclear who would now join the other 59 players in the field in Tokyo.
“I wish all the great athletes representing Spain the best of luck as they compete in Tokyo,” Rahm said. “I will be watching and cheering them on from home.”
Adri Arnaus, the other Spanish representative in the men’s competition, was out at Kasumigaseki Country Club Sunday afternoon. Despite an earlier report than Spain would have just one golfer compete, Arnaus will actually be joined by fellow countryman Jorge Campillo.
The testing process that has now led to an exodus for two top 10 players is thorough. In order to gain entry to Japan, all stakeholders must certify two tests inside 96 hours of their departing flight, with the most recent test taking place inside of 72 hours. Another test is required upon arrival in Japan and, for athletes, daily tests for their remaining time in the country.
What is most clear is that the Olympic field strength will take a significant hit. DeChambeau’s positive test allowed room for Patrick Reed to play, a substitution that wouldn’t greatly impact the field strength with Reed ranked 13th in the world. Campillo is the 199th-ranked player in the world.