A heartbroken Jon Rahm was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament after being told he had tested positive for Covid-19, moments after he had established a six-shot advantage at the top of the leaderboard.
The Spaniard had hit an incredible 64 to put himself in pole position to take home the £1.2million prize money but his test result means he now has to pull out of the competition.
The world No 3 had hit a hole in one in the second round before three birdies in the third left him on 18 under par, equal to Ben Hogan’s tournament record for the lowest three-round score.
A heartbroken Jon Rahm was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament after being told he had tested positive for Covid-19
Rahm had hit an incredible 64 to put himself in poll position to take home the £1.2m prize pot
Rahm was approached by the tournament’s medical adviser after playing his final shot and was almost reduced to tears after being informed of the news.
The defending champion had been undergoing daily tests after being told on Monday that he had come into close contact with someone who had tested positive.
Each of his previous tests had come back negative but he will now have to isolate until June 15.
Rahm had been undergoing daily tests after being told he had come into close contact with someone who had tested positive
Victory in Dublin would have seen Rahm join Tiger Woods as the only repeat winner of the competition.
A statement on the PGA Tour’s website read: ‘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 has 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 4.20pm (local time) while Rahm was on the golf course.
‘The PGA TOUR’s medical adviser requested a confirmatory test on the original sample, which came back at 6.05pm, and was also positive.
Victory in Dublin would have seen Rahm join Tiger Woods as the only repeat winner
‘The PGA Tour’s medical adviser 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.’
American pair Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay now lead the tournament on 12 under par.
It is unclear what this will mean for Cantlay, who is Rahm’s playing partner. However, he has already had Covid and said he didn’t feel too concerned.