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Golf's Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm positive for COVID-19, pull out of Olympics

Spain's Olympic committee said it will not replace Jon Rahm, who tested positive for COVID-19, on its men's Olympic golf team. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Spain's Olympic committee said it will not replace Jon Rahm, who tested positive for COVID-19, on its men's Olympic golf team. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

July 25 (UPI) -- Team USA's Bryson DeChambeau and Spain's Jon Rahm each tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew from the 2020 Summer Games golf tournament, their respective Olympic committees announced.

The International Golf Federation and USA Golf said Saturday night that DeChambeau tested positive as part of the final testing protocol before he left the United States to participate in the 2020 Summer Games.

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The men's individual stroke play golf tournament runs from Thursday through Sunday at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan. The first round airs at 6:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday on Golf Channel.

"I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA," DeChambeau said in a news release. "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.

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"I will now focus on getting healthy, and I look forward to returning to competition once I am cleared to do so."

Patrick Reed will replace DeChambeau, the No. 6 player in the Official World Golf Ranking. The world No. 13 will golf alongside No. 4 Justin Thomas, No. 3 Collin Morikawa and No. 5 Xander Schauffele on Team USA's men's team.

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The Spanish Olympic committee said Rahm tested positive Sunday.

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Rahm, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, also tested positive in June and was forced to pull out of the 2020 Memorial Tournament. He went on to win the 2021 U.S. Open three weeks later. He finished third in last weekend's British Open in Kent, England.

"[Rahm's] positive has been detected by undergoing a third consecutive PCR test, mandatory for all those who have been recently in the United Kingdom, as is the case of Jon Rahm, who has just played the [British] Open," the Spanish Olympic committee said.

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"The first two PCR tests were negative."

The committee said it will not have time to replace Rahm in the tournament. Adri Arnaus, ranked No. 166, will serve as the lone Spaniard in the men's tournament.

"Playing in Tokyo would have given me a chance to win an Olympic gold medal for my country," Rahm wrote Sunday on social media.

"I would have loved to have been the first Spanish Olympic gold medalist in golf, but unfortunately destiny had other plans."

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Reed was the third-alternate for the U.S. men's team, which means first and second alternates Patrick Cantlay and Brooks Koepka declined invitations to the Games.

Countries can send up to four players to the Summer Games, if they are ranked inside the Top 15 in the world. A maximum of two players, per country, are allowed to compete if they are ranked outside of the Top 15.

Ten American golfers are inside the Top 15 in the current Official World Golf Ranking. The United Kingdom is the only other country with more than two men's golfers inside the Top 15, with No. 12 Tyrrell Hatton and No. 15 Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy will represent Ireland at the Summer Games. Hatton declined the invitation to play in Tokyo.

Lexi Thompson, Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda and Danielle Kang form Team USA's women's golf team. Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Munoz will compete on Spain's women's team. The women's golf tournament is from Aug. 4 to 7 at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

Tokyo organizers reported Sunday that 10 people linked to the games tested positive for COVID-19 as part of its latest round of testing. That group includes two athletes. A total of 132 people linked to the games, including 13 athletes, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tokyo since July 1.

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