This was an extraordinary moment of live television. As CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz was wrapping up the network’s coverage of the Memorial golf tournament’s third round, saying that “tomorrow will be fun folks,” viewers could see defending champion Jon Rahm, leader by six heading into the final round, double over during a conversation with two men, visibly upset.
As the group headed to the clubhouse, with Rahm wiping off tears and his caddy turning away the camera that followed them, Nantz, clearly stunned by what was unfolding, addressed viewers.
“What’s going on here?,” he said. “Somebody gave Jon some news. This is not good.” (Watch the video below.)
It turned out the news the tournament officials delivered to Rahm after the final hole was that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and had to withdraw from the event he was so close to winning again. It was a major blow to Rahm, who would miss out on the $1.67M prize, coming just moments after he had celebrated setting a new tournament record.
Rahm, who is asymptomatic, was tested as part of a standard contact tracing procedure after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive.
“This is one of those things that happen in life, one of those moments where how we respond to a setback defines us as people,” Rahm wrote on Twitter after his withdrawal.
Surreal TV moment as six-stroke leader Jon Rahm learns he tested positive for COVID and Jim Nantz tries to make sense of it without knowing what Rahm's been told pic.twitter.com/WvD6LmAlxs
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 5, 2021
Thoughts after today’s round pic.twitter.com/gWkBAWE42F
— Jon Rahm Rodriguez (@JonRahmpga) June 6, 2021