Jon Rahm, the third ranked player in the world, was on cruise control last weekend at the Memorial Tournament, building a six-shot lead at the end of Saturday’s third round. In the blink of the eye, Rahm’s hard work over the first 54 holes went for nothing, as he was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19.
Live television captured Rahm’s obvious disappointment, but noted it is one of those things that happens in life. Rahm was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and Rahm tested negative every day of the tournament except for Friday’s test. Having to withdraw from the event cost Rahm potentially the $1.67 million winner’s check.
The PGA Tour called the situation “incredibly unfortunate”, but the Memorial Tournament continued with several players in the mix for the championship, including Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, and Patrick Cantlay.
After a tie at the top at 13-under par between Morikawa and Cantlay, the two headed to the 18th hole for sudden-death playoff. After Morikawa failed to hit the green, Cantlay’s par save earned him his second Memorial victory. Scheffler was two shots back, finishing in sole possession of third.
With the win, Cantlay earned a robust 550 FedEx Cup points and a hefty 68 points in the World Golf Rankings, vaulting him from 15thto 7th. Morikawa moved from 7th to 4th and Scheffler moved from 24th to 17th. Rahm remains in 3rd.
Rahm immediately began his CDC guideline isolation of 10 days, which ends June 15. Despite the positive COVID-19 test, Rahm should be ready to tee off in the first round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which runs June 17-20. In addition, the positive test result didn’t change Rahm’s odds to win the title, remaining among the top contenders.
The 26-year-old Rahm has 12 professional wins, including five on the PGA Tour. His best finish in a major is 3rd at the 2019 U.S. Open. A win at Torrey Pines could vault Rahm to number one in the World Golf Rankings.