Jon Rahm: Missing big family moment hurt more than being denied Memorial win

Talk about taking it on the chin. Jon Rahm may be a fiery customer at times, but not on this occasion as he reflected on the bitter disappointment of being told his race was run in the recent Memorial Tournament when holding a six-shot lead with a round to go after testing positive for Covid-19.

Jon Rahm speaks with the media ahead of the  US Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. Picture: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM.
Jon Rahm speaks with the media ahead of the US Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. Picture: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM.

Speaking ahead of his return to action in this week’s US Open at Torrey Pines following a 10-day spell in isolation, the Spaniard had no real complaints about the way things had panned out for him in Jack Nicklaus’s event at Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio.

“To all the people criticising the PGA Tour, they shouldn't,” said Rahm of the action taken against him, having been told of the positive test as he came off the 18th green on the Saturday after producing one of the best rounds of his career to spreadeagle a stellar field.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We are in a pandemic, and even though this virus has very different forms of attacking people, you never know what reaction you're going to get. The CDC rules for a reason.

“There's players that missed the (baseball) World Series last year. There's other athletes that have missed events. Unfortunately, I had a really good showing, and I was pulled out of the tournament right before the final round, but the PGA Tour did what they had to do.

“I've heard a lot of different theories, including that I should have played alone - that's nonsense. The rules are there, and it's clear. I'm not going to lie, I was fully aware when I was in tracing protocol that that was a possibility. I knew that could happen. I was hoping it wouldn't.

“I was playing like it's not going to, but I support what the PGA Tour did. It could have been handled a little bit better possibly, but they did what they had to do.”

Eyebrows were raised when it seemed that Rahm didn’t get himself vaccinated after being informed before the event got underway a fortnight ago that he’d come into contact with someone who had already tested positive.

“Well, the truth is I was vaccinated,” he revealed. “I just wasn't out of that 14-day period when I started Covid tracing protocol. Looking back on it, I guess I wish I would have done it earlier, but, having the PGA and defending Memorial, to be honest, it wasn't in my mind.

“I was trying to just get ready for a golf tournament. If I had done it in a few days earlier, probably we wouldn't be having these conversations right now. It is what it is. We move on.”

While he may have missed out on a sixth PGA Tour triumph as victory went instead to Patrick Cantlay, that wasn’t even close to feeling sore as he missed out on a poignant family moment during his spell in isolation.

“I wasn't there when my parents met my son, and I hadn't seen my parents in almost a year and a half,” revealed Rahm. “Whatever happens on the golf course was absolutely secondary in my mind.

“All that was going through my mind was because my parents landed Monday, Tuesday they met my son, and I wasn't there. That was truly, truly a hard thing.”

A message from the Editor:

Get a year of unlimited access to all of The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis, exclusive interviews, live blogs, and 70 per cent fewer ads on - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.