Jon Rahm was on his way to what looked like a clear victory at the Memorial before being forced to withdraw Saturday under crushing circumstances after testing positive for COVID-19.
Rahm played a brilliant round on Saturday, shooting an 8-under 64 on Saturday to put himself at 18-under for the tournament. That gave him a six-stroke lead on his closest competitors, and meant that Rahm would almost certainly win the tournament barring a remarkable collapse on Sunday.
After Rahm finished his round, he spoke with officials before becoming visibly emotional. As it turned out, Rahm had tested positive for COVID-19, and was being informed of that fact. Under PGA Tour protocols, the positive test meant Rahm had to withdraw from the tournament despite his huge lead. Cameras captured the entire sequence, and the video is heartbreaking.
Jon Rahm…with a 6 shot lead at Memorial…finds out AFTER HIS ROUND that he’s tested positive for COVID-19.
That means he has to withdraw. As the leader by 6…
Just unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/AqtqNA75kH
— TJ Eckert (@TJEckertKTUL) June 5, 2021
The PGA Tour issued a statement on the matter, stating that Rahm had tested positive after his round on Friday and the sample was returned and confirmed Saturday while Rahm was on the course. Rahm is asymptomatic and will isolate immediately.
PGA TOUR Statement on Jon Rahm pic.twitter.com/HvMmWLCHeq
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) June 5, 2021
Rahm is notorious for wearing his emotions on his sleeve, and this moment was no different. The tournament winner is slated to receive $1.674 million, and that was likely headed Rahm’s way if not for the positive test.