DUBLIN, Ohio — Jon Rahm walked off the 18th green at the PGA Tour’s Memorial after tying the 54-hole record and building a six-shot lead Saturday.
Moments later, he doubled over behind the green and said in anguish, “Not again!”
Rahm was notified that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, knocking him out of the tournament.
A performance that included a hole-in-one Saturday morning to complete his second round and an 8-under 64 in the third round to tie two tournament records went to waste.
The tour said Rahm was told Monday that he had come in close contact with a person who had tested positive, meaning he could play provided he was tested daily and was restricted from using indoor facilities. Every test came back negative except the one after his second round, which was completed Saturday morning in the tournament delayed by weather earlier in the week.
The positive test was confirmed and the results returned as Rahm, who is asymptomatic, played the 18th hole of his third round.
By tour policy, he was withdrawn from the tournament.
Not even the chance of a false positive test could spare Rahm from being withdrawn. Under the tour’s protocols guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, players who test positive have to return two negative tests 24 hours apart to end a required 10-day isolation. That ruled out Rahm playing Sunday.
The tour said Rahm was put in isolation, where he must remain until June 15, the Tuesday of the U.S. Open in San Diego, unless he returns two negative tests 24 hours apart.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation, obviously,’' said Andy Levinson, the tour’s senior vice president who has overseen its virus protocols. “The protocol that we have had in place for the last 50 events is being followed to the letter, and unfortunately we are in a situation where we are this evening.’'
The withdrawal left Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa tied for the lead at 12-under 204.
Rahm wrote on social media that he was disappointed to have to withdraw but he was thankful that he and his family — wife April and son born in April — were okay.
“This is one of those things that happens in life,” he wrote. “I will take all of the necessary precautions to be safe and healthy.”
Levinson could not say whether Rahm had been vaccinated, and Rahm didn’t mention that in his statement. Players who are fully vaccinated are not subject to testing as a result of close contact.
The PGA Tour said Saturday night that all those who had been in contact with Rahm, including Cantlay, Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and their caddies, were cleared through contact tracing protocols to proceed in the tournament.
It was not clear with whom Rahm had contact that led to the tracing. Levinson said the tour found out about the contact through someone else who had tested through its program.
Rahm had tied the tournament records for the lowest score through 54 holes (198) and largest lead through 54 holes (six strokes) before his withdrawal.
The second round did not finish until Saturday morning because of rain delays earlier in the week. Rahm returned to make a hole-in-one on 16 to take the lead, and he finished off a 65 to build a two-shot lead heading into the third round.