SPANISH superstar Jon Rahm is in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus with a second Memorial victory at his mercy.
The world No3 had just walked off the 18th green at Muirfield Village in Ohio, after opening up a six-shot gap with a sensational third-round 64, when he was told of his test result.
WIN £50,000! Play Dream Team Euros – our FREE fantasy football game
He was forced to withdraw from the tournament and will have to remain in isolation until June 17 – two days before the start of the US Open.
Rahm took the blow on the chin and said: “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.
“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.”
It was a crushing blow for Rahm, the defending Memorial champion following an impressive three-shot victory 12 months ago.
He seemed certain to repeat that triumph today after shooting the lowest round of the week, and had earlier celebrated a hole in one as he completed his weather-hit second round.
He was tested after finishing off that second round, and the positive result came back while he was on the course for round three on Saturday.
A second test on the same sample confirmed the result and wrecked his chances of another £1.18million payday.
PGA Tour officials revealed that Rahm had been given the option of pulling out of the event at the start of the week, after the track-and-trace system showed he had come into contact with a Covid-19 sufferer.
BETTING SPECIAL – GET ENGLAND TO WIN EURO 2020 AND HARRY KANE TO BE TOP SCORER AT 18/1
WIN £50,000 with Dream Team Euros
Dream Team Euros is HERE!
The best fantasy football game to accompany Euro 2020 has arrived.
And you can play absolutely FREE for your chance to win the £50,000 jackpot.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR FREE!
Dream Team Euros
- £50,000 jackpot
- The best fantasy football game this summer
- Play in mini-leagues against your mates, colleagues, family members – and some hand-picked celebrities
- FREE to play
MAYWEATHER VS PAUL
Updates and live build-up as YouTuber faces boxing legend in Miami
Watch intense face-off as Paul weighs in 34 POUNDS heavier than Mayweather
Leicester release NINE players after missing out on Champions League
HAG TO TRY IT
Tottenham chief Levy plotting another raid to bring in Ajax boss Erik ten Hag
WHEN THE LEVY BREAKS
Levy pulled plug on Conte because of ‘unrealistic’ financial demands
But the Ryder Cup ace was not suffering from any symptoms, and as the defending champion he was reluctant to withdraw – and played on the condition that he would be tested every day.
He was still showing no symptoms when he finished the third round at 18 under par – six clear of playing partner Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa, who partnered Rahm in round two.
The joint leaders will be interviewed to see whether they were in close contact with Rahm, and if necessary they will be tested before the start of the final round.
The Memorial is hosted by Jack Nicklaus and the 18-time Major champion issued a statement on Twitter which summed up the general reaction.
Nicklaus commented: “Our hearts go out to Jon Rahm and his family, as well as all the patrons who witnessed a spectacular round by Jon, only to be negated by this horrible pandemic our world continues to endure.”