DeChambeau, Rahm out of Olympics with COVID

Bryson DeChambeau just can’t keep out of the headlines. This time it’s testing positive to COVID-19 just days before he was due to leave for the Tokyo Olympics.

The beleaguered 2020 US Open champion will be replaced by an equally polarising figure in Patrick Reed.

Bryson DeChambeau Bryson DeChambeau (Credit: PGA Tour)

“I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA,” said DeChambeau.

“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.”

Reed got the nod with both Patrick Cantlay and Brooks Koepka ahead of him on the Olympics points table declining the chance to represent their country.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent our country and be a part of Team USA in Tokyo,” said Reed, who will now become a two-time Olympian after debuting at Rio 2016.

“I wish Bryson nothing but the best, and 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.”

The USA will be represented by the formidable team of Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and now, Reed.

Also joining DeChambeau on the bench will be COVID-regular and current World No.1 Rahm, who has now had to WD from a golf tournament twice in the past two months due to the virus.

Both Rahm and DeChambeau had both played in the recent Open Championship where daily spectator numbers hovered just above 30,000.

“I’ve been fortunate to represent my country and win a championship for Spain around the world as an amateur,” said Rahm.

“Playing in Tokyo would have given me a chance to win an Olympic gold medal for my country. I would have loved to have been the first Spanish Olympic gold medalist in golf, but unfortunately destiny had other plans.”

“This is a great reminder for all of us that we’re still in a pandemic, things are not over, and we still need to fight together to get through this the best we can.”

With Rahm withdrawing on Sunday and the Olympic golf teams teeing off on July 29th, there is no time to arrange a replacement, which means Adri Arnaus will be the sole member of Team Spain according to the Spanish Olympic Committee.

The question now is how did Rahm, who is known to be vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, manage to get infected for the second time. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about both cases in the coming days.