“I did not assume ever that I used to be not going to be there,” Rahm stated in a telephone interview from his dwelling in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I am unable to even let you know what occurred.”
The straightforward clarification is that he acquired a constructive COVID-19 take a look at the day earlier than he deliberate to go away for Tokyo and fulfill his dream of taking part in within the Olympics, an opportunity so as to add a medal to a banner 12 months that features a U.S. Open title.
The thriller is why it occurred to him.
Rahm handed 5 COVID-19 assessments as a part of the PGA Tour’s contract tracing on the Memorial the primary week in June, and the sixth take a look at got here again constructive. He was notified moments after he had constructed a six-shot lead going into the ultimate spherical, costing him a possible victory.
He had began the vaccination course of that week, and since he was asymptomatic, Rahm ended his self-isolation early with back-to-back days of detrimental outcomes.
Then he gained the U.S. Open, the primary main championship for the 26-year-old Spaniard.
“For individuals who do not know, I wanted three detrimental assessments,” he stated. “Thursday, detrimental. Friday, detrimental. Saturday, constructive. I did a second one to verify it wasn’t a false constructive.”
Rahm stated he went again on Sunday and took a saliva take a look at, an antibody take a look at and a PCR take a look at. The saliva and PCR assessments got here again detrimental, and it was confirmed he had the COVID-19 antibodies.
By then, he stated, he couldn’t have acquired three straight detrimental outcomes and arrived in Tokyo in time to play at Kasumigaseki Nation Membership, the place he would have been the betting favourite.
Together with already having COVID-19 and being vaccinated, Rahm stated he flew privately to England for the British Open, the place he handed each take a look at required to play. He tied for third, the one participant this 12 months to have top-10 finishes in all 4 majors.
Extra maddening to Rahm is trying to find solutions on why this occurred to him.
“I have never had two specialists inform me the identical factor,” he stated.
Andy Levinson, the PGA Tour’s senior vp who has overseen the COVID-19 protocols, was not concerned in any of Rahm’s assessments and hasn’t spoken to him. From his expertise and dealing with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, he stated it gave the impression of what the tour handled final summer season.
Some gamers nonetheless examined constructive for weeks — typically months — after 10 days of isolation and no signs.
“The explanation the CDC doesn’t require somebody to check once more after 10 days of isolation is it is very probably that for some interval the take a look at goes to detect remnant viral particles,” stated Levinson, who is also head of USA Golf on the Olympics.
“Every day you may have much less remnant viral particles in your physique,” he stated. “If somebody is taking a swab, it may very well be detrimental, and one other day they might catch particles. It is conceivable his constructive consequence was associated to that, notably in a subsequent take a look at.”
The tour’s CDC-guided protocols allowed for gamers who examined constructive for the coronavirus to not need to be examined for 90 days.
However that is the Olympics. The ruling physique is the Japanese authorities, and the coverage is strict.
Rahm has discovered to mood his Spanish ardour this 12 months, helped by the attitude of his spouse giving beginning to their first little one, a boy named Kepa. He credit that new outlook with permitting him to bounce again from the Memorial disappointment by profitable the U.S. Open.
That constructive consequence earlier than the Olympics examined him.
“5 months in the past, I’d have been extra mad about it. Not this time, but it surely did take greater than day to recover from it,” Rahm stated. “Clearly, I haven’t got it. However the dream of being an Olympian goes to have to attend three extra years. That is actually upsetting in a way.”
There is a massive upside. By the pandemic, Rahm has discovered from expertise that golf is irrelevant. An in depth pal from Spain died of COVID-19. He and his household are wholesome.
“Within the grand scheme of issues, I did not get to play two massive occasions,” Rahm stated. “Golf is secondary. My spouse, my son, my household is what’s vital. I am unable to say it is a dangerous 12 months. I bought the U.S. Open trophy. I am No. 1 on this planet. I am by no means going to say I am an unfortunate individual.”
Extra AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities