The World No. 1 returned a positive Covid-19 test the day before he was due to fly to Tokyo to compete in the Olympics
Missing Olympics “Really Upsetting” For Rahm After Second Positive Covid-19 Test
Men’s golf at the Olympics started on Thursday at Kasumigaseki Country Club, but World No. 1 Jon Rahm had to withdraw from the event after returning a positive Covid-19 test.
The Spaniard was due to travel to Tokyo to play in the Olympics, but agonisingly returned a positive test just the day before his departure for Japan.
“The dream of being an Olympian is going to have to wait three more years,” Rahm told Golf Channel from his home in Arizona.
“That’s really upsetting in a sense.”
This is the second time that Covid-19 has affected Rahm’s golf, with the virus forcing him to withdraw from the Memorial in June as he headed into the final round with a six-shot lead.
He passed five tests as part of the PGA Tour’s contact tracing at the event, but the sixth one then came back positive.
Asymptomatic, Rahm ended his self-isolation early with consecutive days of negative results, before he headed to the US Open just two weeks later to win the first Major of his career.
The Olympics seemed to come along at the perfect moment, giving the 26-year-old the best possible opportunity to continue his fine form and pick up the gold medal.
However, Covid-19 put paid to that dream.
“I didn’t think ever that I was not going to be there,” Rahm said.
“I can’t even tell you what happened.
“For people who don’t know, I needed three negative tests (to go to Tokyo).
“Thursday, negative. Friday, negative. Saturday, positive.
“I did a second one to make sure it wasn’t a false positive.”
Rahm returned for another test on Sunday, taking a saliva test, an antibody test, and a PCR test.
While the PCR tests came back negative, he did appear to have Covid-19 antibodies, meaning he couldn’t receive three straight negative results in time to travel to Tokyo for the Olympics.
This seemed confusing for the Spaniard though, who travelled to the Open Championship privately after having been vaccinated and passing every test required to play.
“I haven’t had two experts tell me the same thing,” he said on why he might have returned a positive test.
Despite that, Rahm also accepts that there is more to life than golf, and that his annoyance at missing the Olympics is menial in the grand scheme of things, especially considering that a friend from Spain died of Covid-19.
“Five months ago, I would have been more mad about it,” Rahm said.
“Not this time, but it did take more than a day to get over it.”