Spanish golfer Jon Rahm, the 2021 U.S. Open champion, will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.
Rahm had to take four PCR tests in the United Kingdom before coming to Tokyo. He failed three consecutive tests, the Spanish Olympic Committee confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.
The Spanish Olympic Committee said, via the International Golf Federation, that they could not get a replacement for Rahm due to inadequate “time to find a replacement and comply with the necessary health protocols required for the Tokyo Olympics.” That leaves Adri Arnaus as Spain’s only representative in the men’s golf competition.
This is not Rahm’s first instance of testing positive for the coronavirus.
Rahm won the U.S. Open just 15 days after he tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament ahead of the final round despite holding a commanding six-stroke lead.
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After his U.S. Open win, Rahm said that he was vaccinated when he tested positive at the Memorial, but still had to be quarantined because he had not been vaccinated for 14 days. Rahm said he was vaccinated the Monday before the June 3-6 Memorial and regretted waiting to get vaccinated.
“Looking back on it, yeah, I guess I wish I would have done it earlier, but thinking on scheduling purposes and having the PGA and defending Memorial, I was just – to be honest, it wasn’t in my mind,” Rahm said at the time. “I’m not going to lie; I was trying to just get ready for a golf tournament. If I had done it in a few days earlier, probably we wouldn’t be having these conversations right now. It is what it is. We move on.”
COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective but they’re not 100% effective. That means a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if exposed to the virus that causes it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However vaccinated people who have breakthrough infections are much less likely to get severely sick or die.
The CDC is working with state and local health departments to identify breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or death. As of July 12, of the more than 159 million fully vaccinated people in the U.S., about 5,500 were reported hospitalized or died from COVID-19.
Rahm’s Olympics withdrawal means the previous two U.S. Open champions will not compete in the Olympics. Bryson DeChambeau will not represent the United States in Tokyo after testing positive for the coronavirus, USA Golf announced Sunday morning in Japan, late Saturday night in the U.S. DeChambeau was replaced on the U.S. team by Patrick Reed.
The Olympic golf competition is scheduled to begin Thursday.
Contributing: Alex Ptachick, USA TODAY.