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Tokyo Olympics 2021: Jon Rahm of Spain second star golfer to withdraw after COVID-19 positive

Tokyo Olympics 2021: Jon Rahm of Spain second star golfer to withdraw after COVID-19 positive, the vie

For the second time in his last five events, Jon Rahm has been forced to withdraw because of a positive COVID-19 test. Rahm’s positive came in the final round of testing protocols ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, meaning the top player in the world will not compete in his first Games for Spain.

Rahm last tested positive during the Memorial Tournament in June, an event at which he held a six-stroke lead after Round 3. Though he had to withdraw, he went onto win his next event at the U.S. Open and recently finished T3 at The Open Championship.

“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 Sunday in a statement. “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.”

There is not enough time to get a replacement for Rahm, according to the Spanish Olympic Committee. Adri Arnaus is the other Spanish team member, leaving the field in Tokyo at 59 golfers.

Rahm said in June that he was vaccinated when he tested positive at the Memorial but still in the two-week waiting period.

“Well, truth is I was vaccinated,” said Rahm at the U.S. Open. “I just wasn’t out of that 14-day period. I had started the process, and unfortunately, that’s how timing ended up being. Yeah, I was vaccinated. It’s just I was still within those 14 days when I started COVID tracing protocol, and I had to stay in it.”

Rahm has lost to eight golfers in his last four events and was the favorite to win the men’s golf competition at Kasumigaseki Country Club just outside of Tokyo.

Rahm is not the only top player to test out of these Olympics. Bryson DeChambeau of the United States also received a positive COVID-19 test this week and will not compete in Tokyo. DeChambeau has been replaced by Patrick Reed.

Open Championship winner Collin Morikawa of the United States is now the favorite to win the Olympics followed by fellow Americans Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas. Rory McIlroy (Ireland), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) and Viktor Hovland (Norway) are just beyond those top three on the odds board.

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