JERSEY CITY, NJ – It’s been a wonderful summer for Jon Rahm, who won the last two holes for the US Open, rose to first place in the world, was in the top eight in the four tournaments he completed — and had two very high profile withdrawals due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Rahm returns to Northern Trust at Liberty National this week – the first of three tournaments to feature in the FedEx Cup play-offs – after missing out on the Olympic golf tournament due to a positive test before the trip. He also tested positive after the third round of the Memorial Tournament, where he had a 6-stroke lead after 54 holes.
“I’m still a little sad, I’m not going to lie,” Rahm said of the Olympics, where he would play for Spain. ‘I will have to wait another three years for the Olympics, but I was really ready for it. ”
Rahm said he had to take three COVID-19 tests before traveling to Tokyo. The first two – Thursday and Friday before Olympic week – were negative. The Saturday test was positive, as was another one later that evening. Because he had to test negative for three consecutive days, there was no time for him to be cleared.
“It was a little harder to digest than Memorial because I did everything the system told me to,” Rahm said. ‘First one on Thursday negative, Friday negative, Saturday I get my first positive. And then they tested me again the same day, and I was apparently positive again.
“Then I was tested for the next two days. One was the saliva test, one was PCR – both negative. An antibody test was done, a blood test, and I had the antibodies. So I can not really explain what in the world ‘I do not know if it’s false positive aspects or just what I was left with when I had COVID, just dead cells that were there that we all know can happen. There’s a reason why the PGA Tour does not test’ a while after you had COVID. ‘
The PGA Tour discontinued its testing program, but once in use, a player who tested positive did not have to test for 90 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, which state that a person in these circumstances would not be contagious. If Rahm had played a PGA Tour tournament instead of the Olympics, he would not have had to test.
After his positive test at the Memorial, Rahm had to take two negative tests on two consecutive days to leave the quarantine early, which he did. After that, he won the US Open. Before traveling to the UK for the Scottish Open and The Open, he tested negative for flying, and thereafter he was negative at the Scottish, again at The Open and before going home.
“Hopefully I’ll never have to deal with this again … I said it’s a reminder of the time we live in. It is a serious disease. The consequences can be great, and I know – not in the first place – but I know people who were close to me to suffer.
“That’s why I do not take it lightly, and that’s why I’m still grateful every day that everyone around me in my family got it right, but I did not understand it. So it’s a positive side of it. . ”
One thing Rahm does for him is that he is rested in a busy stretch of three weeks. He has not played since finishing third at the Open last month. Two years ago, Rahm was tied for third place in the Northern Trust when it was last played at Liberty National. And last year he won the BMW Championship.
“No matter how unfortunate it was, it gave me time to rest,” Rahm said. “So I think, maybe not this week, but if I look at the next few weeks, probably physically, mentally, I was more rested than everyone. So that could be my advantage.”