What happened on Saturday at Muirfield Village Golf Club, home of the Memorial Tournament each year, will go down in PGA Tour history. Jon Rahm came back early to complete the second round and in those 5 holes he showed that he was playing better than the rest. Those 5 chapters were played at 2 under par, hole in 1 included in 16, and he was ahead by two over Patrick Cantlay. The funny thing about the case is that Cantlay had won here in 2019 and Rahm was the defending champion at Jack Nicklaus’ house.
Quick in the afternoon we all noticed that Rahm seemed to be playing on autopilot. In the whole round he missed only two fairways and a single green. He holed almost everything he threw with his new putter, signed 64 and finished all 54 holes 6 ahead of Cantlay.
The Spanish’s joy lasted less than a minute. As he left the 18th green, two tour officials announced that his test result had come back positive and that he should withdraw from the tournament.
At the beginning of the week Rahm informed the Tour that in the days leading up to the tournament he had been in close contact with someone who had subsequently tested positive. The tour gave him the possibility to play in the tournament, but with daily tests.
The PGA Tour protocol is very clear and says that if the player is not vaccinated and was in contact with a positive, he must undergo daily tests. On the contrary, if the player is vaccinated and does not present symptoms, he does not have to undergo these tests every day of the tournament. It is not known for sure if Rahm is vaccinated or not, but it would appear that he is not.
All the tests that Rahm did since his arrival at Memorial were negative, until after the second round ended on Saturday morning, the first positive appeared.
That news only reached the hands of the tour just after 4 in the afternoon when Rahm was playing the 13th hole of the third round. The tour immediately requested another test on the same sample to corroborate the first result, and at 6:05 p.m. the confirmation of the positive arrived. At that time Rahm was playing the final hole.
Had Rahm won the tournament yet? No. Did he have a good chance of winning? Very good chances. By now Rahm, who is asymptomatic and missed a hearty check, must be wondering why he didn’t get vaccinated. If this is true, we also ask ourselves the same thing.