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25 Jul, 2021 09:19

Staying putt: More Covid despair for Rahm as positive tests rule world number 1 & contender DeChambeau out of Tokyo Olympics golf

Staying putt: More Covid despair for Rahm as positive tests rule world number 1 & contender DeChambeau out of Tokyo Olympics golf

Top golf stars Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau will not play at the Tokyo Olympics after both tested positive for Covid-19, ruling the world number one out again after he caught the virus for the second time in two months.

Heavy hitter DeChambeau, who had been due to represent the USA, voiced his frustration after becoming the latest athlete to see their ambitions of taking part in the showpiece curtailed by Covid, while Rahm has endured a repeat of the test result that meant he was forced to withdraw from the Memorial in June.

The Spanish sensation was well on the way to winning that tournament when cameras captured him being told on the course that he would not be able to continue his campaign because he had contracted the coronavirus.

"I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA," said 2020 PGA Championship and US Open champion DeChambeau, the world number six.

"Representing my country means the world to me and it is was a tremendous honour 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."

Rahm tied for third at The Open in the UK last week, where DeChambeau also played.

The 26-year-old was fully vaccinated and was the bookmakers' favorite ahead of the start of play at Tokyo's Kasumigaseki Country Club on Thursday.

Open champion Collin Morikawa and former world number one Rory McIlroy are set to take part in the tournament, with Patrick Reed replacing DeChambeau in what will be his second Olympics appearance.

"I wish Bryson nothing but the best," said Reed, the current world number 13.

"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."

Also on rt.com ‘Not again’: Golfer Jon Rahm surges into lead at US PGA Tour event before being told that he has Covid on live television (VIDEO)