Jon Rahm has sensationally had to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament after testing positive for coronavirus - and he found out just seconds after firing a stunning 8-under 64 to move into a six-shot lead after 54 holes.
Rahm, who was bidding to become the first player to defend the Memorial Tournament since Tiger Woods in 2001, had moved to 18-under par and six shots clear of Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay.
The Spaniard caught fire on the back nine when rolling in six birdies in the space of seven holes from the 11th.
But after thinking he would enjoy a six-shot lead heading into the final round, Rahm was told by a PGA Tour official that his Covid test had come back positive and so under the rules, he has to withdraw and isolate.
Morikawa and Cantlay now move into a share of the lead on 12-under par heading into the final round.
Jon Rahm has withdrawn from the Memorial Tournament after testing positive for COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/fF630OV3ND— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 5, 2021
PGA TOUR Statement regarding Jon Rahm
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 4:20 p.m. ET while Rahm was on the golf course. The PGA TOUR’s medical advisor requested a confirmatory test on the original sample, which came back at 6:05 p.m. ET, and was also positive.
The PGA TOUR’s medical advisor notified Rahm immediately upon completion of his round, and under TOUR protocols, he will be withdrawn from the competition.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.
While this is an incredibly unfortunate situation, throughout 50 events since the PGA TOUR’s Return to Golf, there have been only four positive tests (including Rahm) within competition; Rahm is the first positive, asymptomatic case as part of the TOUR’s routine, contact-tracing protocols.
Morikawa won at Muirfield Village last year when the Workday Charity Open was staged a week before the Memorial Tournament, and Cantlay won this tournament in 2019.
Branden Grace and Scottie Scheffler must have thought they were out of things but they are now firmly in the mix on 9-under par.
Further down the board, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy carded rounds of 71 to move to 2-under par and 1-under par respectively.
Bryson DeChambeau could only manage a 73 to fall back to level par for the tournament.