Golfers Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm out of Olympics after positive COVID-19 tests
Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm are out of the Olympic golf tournament after both tested positive for COVID-19.
DeChambeau, 27, will be replaced by Patrick Reed on the U.S. team.
According to statements released Saturday night by the International Golf Federation and USA Golf, DeChambeau tested positive as part of the final testing protocols before leaving the United States for Japan.
Rahm’s positive test was announced by the Spanish Olympic committee. He tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time in two months Sunday.
Rahm will not be replaced on the Spanish team, leaving Adri Arnaus as the country’s lone hope in the men’s golf event.
“I would have loved to have been the first Spanish Olympic gold medalist in golf,” Rahm said in a tweet, “but unfortunately destiny had other plans. This is a great reminder for all of us that we’re still in a pandemic, things are not over, and we still need to fight together to get through this the best we can.”
The back-to-back announcements came on the second full day of action in Tokyo and put a damper on the golf tournament, which is scheduled to begin Thursday.
“I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA,” DeChambeau said in a statement. “Representing my country means the world to me, and it is was a tremendous honor 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.”
The eight-time PGA Tour winner, who captured the 2020 U.S. Open, was among the four U.S. qualifiers for the Games, along with Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.
DeChambeau earned the last of four qualifying spots because Dustin Johnson elected to not participate.
Reed, 30, who is tied for 29th through three rounds of the 3M Open in Minnesota, must go through the Olympic testing protocols, which will continue Sunday and Monday. He tied for 11th in the 2016 Olympic tournament in Brazil and would become the first U.S. player to compete in two Olympics.
Patrick Cantlay and Brooks Koepka were the first and second alternates after DeChambeau, with Reed third. In order for Reed to make the team, Cantlay and Koepka would have had to decline their invites.
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent our country and be a part of Team USA in Tokyo,” Reed said in a statement. “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.”
A country can send up to four players, as long as they are ranked among the top 15 in the world; otherwise, there is a maximum of two players allowed per country.
DeChambeau is ranked sixth in the world; Reed is 13th, but he was ninth following the U.S. Open, the cutoff for Olympic consideration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.