JERSEY CITY, N.J. — It has been a tremendous summer season for Jon Rahm, who birdied the final two holes to win the U.S. Open, ascended to No. 1 on the earth, was within the high eight within the 4 tournaments he completed — and had two very high-profile withdrawals resulting from COVID-19 optimistic assessments.
Rahm returns this week at Northern Belief at Liberty Nationwide — the primary of three tournaments that comprise the FedEx Cup playoffs — having missed the Olympic golf event resulting from a optimistic check previous to journey. He had additionally examined optimistic following the third spherical of the Memorial Match, the place he had a 6-shot lead after 54 holes.
“Nonetheless makes me slightly unhappy, I am not going to lie,” Rahm mentioned of the Olympics, the place he was scheduled to play for Spain. “I’ll have to attend three extra years hopefully to qualify for the Olympics, however I used to be actually prepared for this one.”
Rahm mentioned he was required to take three COVID-19 assessments previous to touring to Tokyo. The primary two — on Thursday and Friday previous to the Olympic week — have been adverse. The Saturday check got here again optimistic, as did one other later that evening. As a result of he wanted to check adverse on three consecutive days, there was not time for him to be cleared.
“This was slightly more durable to digest than Memorial as a result of I’ve carried out every thing the system tells me to do,” Rahm mentioned. “I acquired all my negatives. First one on Thursday adverse, Friday adverse, Saturday I get my first optimistic. After which they examined me once more that very same day, and I apparently was optimistic once more.
“Then I acquired examined the following two days. One was the saliva check, one was PCR — each adverse. Bought an antibody check carried out, so a blood check, and I had the antibodies. So I am unable to actually clarify what on the earth occurred. I do not know if it is false positives or simply what I had left over from once I had COVID, simply useless cells that have been in there that everyone knows can occur. There is a purpose why the PGA Tour will not check for some time after you’ve got had COVID.”
The PGA Tour has discontinued its testing program, however when it was in use, a participant who had examined optimistic was not required to check for 90 days, per Facilities for Illness Management pointers that mentioned an individual wouldn’t be contagious underneath these circumstances. Had Rahm been enjoying a PGA Tour occasion as an alternative of the Olympics, he wouldn’t have been required to check.
After his optimistic check on the Memorial, Rahm wanted to supply two adverse assessments on consecutive days as a way to go away quarantine early, which he did. He then went on to win the U.S. Open. Earlier than touring to the UK for the Scottish Open and The Open, he examined adverse to fly, then was adverse on the Scottish, once more at The Open and earlier than touring dwelling.
“Hopefully, I haven’t got to take care of any of that ever once more … and I can simply maintain enjoying golf and doing what I really like and contend for tournaments,” Rahm mentioned. “However on the similar time, like I’ve mentioned, it is a reminder of the instances we reside in. It’s a severe illness. The implications could be large, and I do know — not firsthand — however I do know individuals who have been near me to endure them.
“That is why I do not take it evenly, and that is why on daily basis I am nonetheless grateful that, even then once I had it, everybody round me in my household was OK and did not get it. In order that’s a optimistic facet out of it.”
One factor Rahm has going for him is he is rested going right into a busy three-week stretch. He has not performed since he tied for third at The Open final month. Two years in the past, Rahm tied for third within the Northern Belief when it was final performed at Liberty Nationwide. And final 12 months, he gained the BMW Championship.
“As unlucky because it was, it gave me a while to relaxation,” Rahm mentioned. “So I feel, possibly not this week however trying into the following few weeks, in all probability bodily, mentally, I have been extra rested than everyone else. In order that might be my benefit.”