Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau – two bright candidates for the gold medal – contracted Covid-19, were eliminated a few days before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic golf tournament started.

Rahm is leading, and DeChambeau is sixth in the world men’s golfers rankings (OWGR). Rahm is on the Spanish team, while DeChambeau is a member of the US team preparing to go to the 2020 Olympics.

Both golfers were positive for nCoV at the last screening session in the three-phase testing process before leaving for Tokyo. Only Rahm – who received a shot of the vaccine manufactured by Janssen – was tested three times and all were positive.

Rahm (right) and DeChambeau are the two strongest candidates for this year's Olympic gold medal.  Photo: Golf Digest

Rahm (right) and DeChambeau are the two strongest candidates for this year’s Olympic gold medal. Photo: Golf Digest

Rahm, who contracted Covid-19 in June, was discovered right after holding the top of the table by six strokes at Memorial on the PGA Tour. After a few days of isolation, he met his health conditions, attended the major US Open and won this major.

With the Covid-19 infection today, July 25, Rahm suffered double damage. Because when closing the Olympic schedule, Rahm had to cancel the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, despite his commitment to the PGA Tour event.

The Spanish golf team was also disadvantaged when Rahm could not attend the Olympics. According to Marca, the reserve players did not have enough time to meet the epidemic prevention process, with three PCR tests in 72 hours, so it would be late to the flight schedule to Tokyo. Spain, therefore, only had Adri Arnaus to compete for the medal.

In contrast, the US golf team quickly replaced DeChambeau with Patrick Reed – the golfer who is ranked 13th OWGR. As a result, in Tokyo 2020, Reed is the only golfer to have attended two Olympics, after his first appearance in Rio de Janeiro 2016. Reed participated in the Covid-19 screening process from July 24 to July 26.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic golf course kicks off on July 29. Both men’s and women’s events were held in an individual stroke play format over 72 holes at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama Prefecture.

The list of matches for each gender includes 60 golfers. In particular, the US team with Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele are all in the top 5 OWGR rated as the strongest male branch. In the female branch, Korea is the most powerful, with Ko Jin Young, Park Inbee, Kim Sei Young and Kim Hyo Joo in the top 5 in the world (Rolex Rankings).

Golf after 112 years returned to the Olympics for the first time, at Rio 2016. That year, Justin Rose (England) and Park Inbee (Korea) won gold medals.

Quoc Huy

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