Jon Rahm turned in one of the best rounds of golf Saturday and was poised to win the Memorial Tournament. And then he stepped off the 18th green.
As he did just that, Rahm learned he tested positive for COVID-19. If and when that is confirmed, Rahm — who walked off the course with a six-stroke lead going into Sunday’s final round — will withdraw from the tournament.
Rahm, according to PGA Tour communications, was subject to contact-tracing protocols after coming into contact with someone who also tested positive. He remained in competition but entered the tracing protocol, subjecting him to increased testing.
His most recent test, which came Saturday after he finished his second round, returned a positive sample as Rahm completed the third round and was confirmed roughly a half-hour before he finished his round.
Rahm, Tour comms noted, is the first player to test positive as part of the contact-tracing protocols. He’s also the first to have to withdraw with a commanding 54-hole lead, of course.
Rahm shot up the leaderboard Saturday morning as he finished his second round, highlighted by an ace. He went back out Saturday afternoon and fired a 64 that had him ready an easy Sunday stroll to win Jack Nicklaus’ tournament.
Now, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay will enter Sunday as co-leaders at 12-under. That would have trailed Rahm by six strokes.
Making matters even worse, Rahm now will go into isolation and will remain isolated until June 15 — just two days before the U.S. Open begins at Torrey Pines.