Why Did Jon Rahm Withdraw From the 2021 Memorial Tournament?

Published 06/06/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
Apr 23, 2021; Avondale, Louisiana, USA; Jon Rahm plays from the 10th tee box during the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports


Jon Rahm played a lot of golf on Saturday. He had an early tee time to finish off his second round and then had to play 18-holes to complete Round 3. As the Spaniard made a putt on the 18th green to conclude his third round, he was subsequently informed that he had to withdraw from the 2021 Memorial Tournament immediately. But why? 

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There was no space for any argument. Jon Rahm was politely escorted from the course and asked to isolate himself after he had finished Round 3. He was six strokes ahead of any player when the Spaniard was informed that he tested positive for COVID-19. 

As per the PGA Tour’s protocol, any player who tests positive during a tournament has to immediately withdraw from the competition. Rahm faced the same fate at the 2021 Memorial Tournament. 

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Jon Rahm had his sample tested twice to make sure

Jon Rahm entered the 2021 Memorial Tournament after being in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Hence, he had to comply with the PGA Tour’s guidelines and had to get tested every day. Rahm was getting tested at Muirfield Village daily since Monday, May 31. 

Jon Rahm had returned a negative COVID-19 test for four days, until Saturday. The positive report returned when Rahm was tested after his Round 2 performance on Saturday. The organizers retested his sample just to be 100% sure that he’s contracted the virus. 

May 13, 2021; McKinney, Texas, USA; Jon Rahm lines up his putt on the fourth green during the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

“No, the CDC’s protocol regarding people who are confirmed positive for COVID-19 is clear, and that is 10 days of isolation unless someone is asymptomatic and is able to produce two negative tests of a minimum of 24 hours apart. Unfortunately, the timing would not allow Jon to continue to participate,” Adam Levinson, the PGA Tour’s senior vice-president of tournament administration said about Rahm’s situation. 

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It is unfortunate that Rahm faced such a situation that led to his exit from the 2021 Memorial Tournament. He was right on the line to become the PGA Tour’s first successful defending champion to repeat since Brooks Koepka at the 2019 PGA Championship. 

There is also no possibility of Jon Rahm playing the final round alone as the CDC has advised against it. So that is that. The 2021 Memorial Tournament ended for Rahm in agonizing fashion, but he handled it graciously

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Arjun Athreya

1918 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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