Covid chaos strikes Olympic golf tournament as USA star Bryson DeChambeau AND Jon Rahm test positive

Covid chaos has struck the golf tournament at the Tokyo Olympics, with two of the competition’s biggest stars – World No 1 Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau – both out of the Games after positive coronavirus tests. 

The in-form pair would have been some of the main star attractions along with Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy, and among the favourites to win a gold medal.

The globe’s top-ranked golfer Rahm’s first two PCR tests were negative, but the third and final consecutive one provided the fateful result, the Spanish Olympic Committee revealed on Sunday.

The Spaniard, 26, was previously left heartbroken after being forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament back in early June and will now miss the Olympics after his second positive test in two months.

Rahm finished his last round with a six-shot lead after an incredible round of 64 but missed out on the £1.2million top prize after being told by the tournament medical adviser that he tested positive after his final shot, nearly reducing him to tears. 

DeChambeau tested positive for COVID-19 before his departure for the Tokyo Olympics and will be replaced in Team USA’s men’s golf team by Patrick Reed, USA Golf confirmed on Sunday, while there is no time to find a replacement for Rahm.  

Reed will join the team in Japan after the completion of the required testing protocols, with the first round of the competition to begin on Thursday at Kasumigaseki Country Club. 

Spanish golfer and World No 1 Jon Rahm (pictured ) will miss the games due to a positive test

Spanish golfer and World No 1 Jon Rahm (pictured ) will miss the games due to a positive test

Spanish golfer and World No 1 Jon Rahm (pictured ) will miss the games due to a positive test

It is his second positive test in two months, after he was forced to quit the Memorial Tournament in June while winning by six shots, missing out on the £1.2million top prize

It is his second positive test in two months, after he was forced to quit the Memorial Tournament in June while winning by six shots, missing out on the £1.2million top prize

It is his second positive test in two months, after he was forced to quit the Memorial Tournament in June while winning by six shots, missing out on the £1.2million top prize

Reacting to his own departure from the Games, DeChambeau said in a statement: ‘I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA. Representing my country means the world to me and it is was a tremendous honour to make this team. 

‘I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo. I will now focus on getting healthy, and I look forward to returning to competition once I am cleared to do so.’ 

At the Memorial Tournament last month, Rahm had hit a hole-in-one in the second round before three birdies in the third left him on 18 under par, equal to Ben Hogan’s tournament record for the lowest three-round score. 

Posting on Twitter in the hours after the heartbreaking moment, the Spaniard said: ‘I’m very disappointed in having to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament. This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people. 

Bryson DeChambeau will also play no part at the Tokyo Olympics after a positive Covid test

Bryson DeChambeau will also play no part at the Tokyo Olympics after a positive Covid test

Bryson DeChambeau will also play no part at the Tokyo Olympics after a positive Covid test

DeChambeau talked up a 'tremendous honour' to represent his country but will now miss out

DeChambeau talked up a 'tremendous honour' to represent his country but will now miss out

DeChambeau talked up a ‘tremendous honour’ to represent his country but will now miss out

DeChambeau is to be replaced by Patrick Reed, who faces a race against time to get to Tokyo

DeChambeau is to be replaced by Patrick Reed, who faces a race against time to get to Tokyo

DeChambeau is to be replaced by Patrick Reed, who faces a race against time to get to Tokyo

‘I’m very thankful that my family and I are all OK. I will take all of the necessary precautions to be safe and healthy, and I look forward to returning to the golf course as soon as possible.

‘Thank you to all of the fans for their support and I’m looking forward to watching the showdown tomorrow afternoon with you all.’  

Reed, winner of the 2018 Masters, completes a strong squad for the United States that also features recently crowned British Open champion Collin Morikawa as well as 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele. 

‘I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent our country and be a part of Team USA in Tokyo,’ said Reed.

‘I wish Bryson nothing but the best, and I know how disappointed he is to not be able to compete, and I will do my best to play my best and represent our country.’

‘We’re obviously disappointed for Bryson, as we know how much he was looking forward to representing the United States in his first Olympics,’ said Andy Levinson, USA Golf Executive Director. 

Team USA have a star-studded line-up which includes The Open champion Collin Morikawa

Team USA have a star-studded line-up which includes The Open champion Collin Morikawa

Team USA have a star-studded line-up which includes The Open champion Collin Morikawa

But the golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics has suddenly been thrown into Covid-19 chaos

But the golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics has suddenly been thrown into Covid-19 chaos

But the golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics has suddenly been thrown into Covid-19 chaos

‘But we’re thrilled that Patrick Reed is excited to play for his country when he is called upon.

‘Even with the strenuous testing protocols and he is set to arrive just in time to compete – on a golf course he will have never seen prior to the start of competition. 

‘It really illustrates the importance of the Olympics and the value Patrick places on playing for Team USA and for his country. We’re excited to welcome him to Tokyo soon and know he’ll be a formidable competitor for Team USA.’  

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