As golf endeavors to return to normal, you would have been unable to think things were not as they generally were Sunday at Muirfield Village Golf Club for the final round of the Memorial Tournament.
Jack Nicklaus, tournament founder, host and 18-time significant hero, took up his usual spot in the CBS-TV broadcast tower. He was there close to the eighteenth green to greet winner Patrick Cantlay, who outlived Collin Morikawa in playoff. A strong group remained close to the eighteenth green.
Also, those available and watching on TV could liked the drama, as Cantlay, Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler arranged a daylong fight over Nicklaus’ course. A competition so close it required additional openings.
Obviously, practically all knew such a scenario played out simply because Jon Rahm was in isolation some place in the wake of testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. It probably won’t have hosed their enthusiasm, however it was almost difficult to overlook.
Had Rahm had the option to play Sunday, he would have required just a 4-over-par 76 to win by a one shot. He drove by six strokes and was 18 under before his world was turned upside down. The playoff participants finished 72 openings at 13 under. It was difficult to envision anybody drawing near to where Rahm remained after Saturday.
Yet, Rahm had sit by like every other person on Sunday, the shocking development floating over the tournament like the downpour mists that additional one more piece of interest as play was slowing down.
“Such a weird situation and so unfortunate,” Cantlay said. “Because, me included, everyone knows it would have been a totally different day had that not happened. But there’s nothing I could do about it. I just tried as hard as I could to reset and get focused.”
Cantlay and Morikawa each shot 71. Cantlay won when Morikawa bogeyed the first playoff opening. Rahm could just watch – that is, regardless of whether he could tolerate tuning in.
Rahm shot 8-under-standard 64 on Saturday, in the wake of having shot a 65 that included an hole-in-one at the conclusion of the second round prior in the day. He looked dominant and seemed to be bound for a 6th PGA Tour victory and to inch nearer to No. 1 Dustin Johnson in the Official World Golf Ranking.
It got wiped out because of the positive COVID-19 test.
For as far back as year, players have gone through various protocols and procedures to play proficient golf. In April, the PGA Tour said it would permit players to renounce COVID-19 testing in the event that they were totally vaccinated. Never had this occurred, a tournament leader getting knocked out of the event.
Rahm was important for the PGA Tour’s contact-tracing protocols since he had been around somebody who tried positive. That implied he expected to test each day. His tests on Monday through Friday came up negative. His test on Saturday returned positive. He must be quickly eliminated from the tournament.
Three different occasions over the previous year a player was eliminated from a tournament subsequent to having tried positive once the competition started: Nick Watney at the RBC Heritage last June, Denny McCarthy at the Travelers Championship and Branden Grace at the Barracuda Championship. Elegance’s circumstance was like Rahm in that he was in contention.
Be that as it may, Grace didn’t have the lead, as Rahm did. Likewise, that occasion wasn’t close to as unmistakable as the Memorial.
“I think we have all been really scared and we have all thought of this what-if scenario,” Morikawa said. “But that’s the thing with what-ifs. We can only think about it and think what we’re going to try and do, do that until it actually happens; and it’s very unfortunate for him to have a 6-shot lead and it’s kind of in his possession right there.
“Obviously, we know the risks. People know the risks of not getting vaccinated. It’s a personal choice. No one should be judged.”
Morikawa clarified that he was disappointed Rahm was getting a tough time over his inoculation status.
Rahm this previous week got a COVID-19 vaccine. In any case, before doing as such, he had been in touch with somebody who tried positive, subsequently he was needed to go through the Tour’s protocols.
That implied no admittance to the clubhouse, locker room or player dining. In spite of the fact that his status was not declared openly, Rahm made it obvious to those he was with in the favorable to am, playing partners and anyone he came in contact with of his status.
Golf has not missed a scheduled event since returning a year prior this week. There have been positive COVID-19 cases, certainly, actually like there have been in different games, in varying backgrounds.
Yet, there have been no significant outbreaks, no huge spikes at any tournament. There was somewhat of an alarm in April when four players tried positive that very week after the tournament in New Orleans, yet that ended up being about the most exceedingly terrible of it.
The PGA Tour made it to this point with no huge headlines – until Rahm.
He pursued the more responsible option in the articulation he delivered through Twitter, saying, “These things happen in life.” And without a doubt, losing almost $1.7 million in prize money – the take for winning – needed to sting. However, there was more: another triumph and the force as he went into the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, looking for his first significant title. Had Rahm won the Memorial, he’d have gone to San Diego a major top pick.
Presently that is less clear. Rahm is dependent upon a 10-day isolation – except if he tests negative for two days at any rate 24 hours separated. Whatever occurs straightaway, for Rahm, Sunday’s last round at the Memorial played out with a lot of suspense despite of the invisible asterisk that will oblige it.