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David Cannon/Getty Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm is preparing for this week's U.S. Open, after he was forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament earlier this month.
The Spanish pro golfer, 26, got the coronavirus vaccine just prior to the Memorial Tournament in Ohio, but since it was within the 14-day period after his final dose, he wasn't considered fully vaccinated and was required to be tested daily. Following four days of negative tests, he tested positive for COVID-19 and was informed he'd have to withdraw from the tournament while holding a 6-stroke lead.
"Looking back on it, yeah, I guess I wish I would have [gotten vaccinated] earlier, but thinking on scheduling purposes and having the PGA and defending Memorial, I was just - to be honest, it wasn't in my mind,'' Rahm said, according to ESPN. "I'm not going to lie, I was trying to just get ready for a golf tournament. If I had done it a few days earlier, probably we wouldn't be having these conversations right now. It is what it is. We move on.''
He still supports the PGA Tour's rules and respects their decision, Rahm assured. "The rules are there, and it's clear," Rahm said, ESPN reported. "I'm not going to lie, I was fully aware when I was in tracing protocol that that was a possibility. I knew that could happen. I was hoping it wouldn't. I was playing like it's not going to, but I support what the PGA Tour did. It could have been handled a little bit better possibly, but they did what they had to do.''
Andrew Redington/Getty Jon Rahm
After returning home to Arizona, Rahm was allowed to leave isolation pending two negative test results at least 24 hours apart. "I was a little bit scared because, even though I was feeling fine, I didn't want to give the virus to anybody in my house,'' Rahm said of wife Kelley Cahill and their newborn son Kepa.
"Those are the hard parts about this virus in life," he added. "Whatever happens on the golf course was absolutely secondary in my mind. For anybody wondering what was going through my mind, all that was going on because my parents landed Monday, Tuesday they met my son, and I wasn't there. That was truly, truly a hard thing.''
Rahm got his second negative test results on Saturday, and he's since been practicing for the U.S. Open. "When you don't hit a golf shot for just about a week, it's tough leading into a major, especially a U.S. Open,'' said the third-ranked golfer in the world.
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"I'm confident I can get in form quick enough," he continued. "I still have the memory of all those great golf shots I played, right? I'm going to choose to remember that. I've been playing really good golf all year. Two weeks ago, it's finally clicking all together like I was waiting for it to happen. Finally everything was firing on all cylinders. Not that I'm expecting to play that perfect again, but I know that I can play at a really high level. So I'm confident.''