Jon Rahm won’t win the Memorial Tournament, but that doesn’t mean his backers are totally out of luck, as one sportsbook opted to pay out pre-tournament win bets on Rahm in full following the Spaniard’s controversial withdrawal.
Rahm was the defending champ and +1200 betting favorite this week at Muirfield Village Golf Club, and he picked up right where he left off a year ago. Fueled by a hole-in-one and 11 birdies during a marathon day Saturday at the rain-delayed event, Rahm took a two-shot lead after 36 holes and built it into a six-shot cushion heading into the final round.
But that status lasted only a matter of minutes, as Rahm was informed near the 18th green that he had tested positive for COVD-19. The former world No. 1, who reportedly received his first vaccine dose earlier this week, was entered into the Tour’s contact tracing protocol after coming in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual on Monday. That status required daily testing, and while his tests throughout the week came back negative, the sample he supplied Saturday between the second and third rounds came back positive and was confirmed by a second test later in the afternoon.
“Under Tour protocols, he will be withdrawn from the competition,” the PGA Tour said in a release. “While this is an incredibly unfortunate situation, throughout 50 events since the PGA Tour’s return to golf, there have been only four positive tests (including Rahm) within competition. Rahm is the first positive, asymptomatic case as part of the Tour’s routine, contact tracing protocols.”
As a result, Rahm’s six-shot lead turned into a withdrawal that nearly brought the former world No. 1 to his knees as he was walking to the scoring area.
But those who backed Rahm at PointsBet Sportsbook won’t be left empty-handed. The outlet opted to pay out Rahm bettors in full in light of the withdrawal, with pre-tournament win odds ranging from +1000 to +1400. Those wagers will be paid as though Rahm won the event, despite the fact that he won’t be around for Sunday’s final round or get his name etched onto the trophy for a second time.
It was the first time PointsBet used its “Karma Komittee” policy on a golf tournament since the Farmers Insurance Open in January, when Patrick Reed won following a controversial weekend at Torrey Pines and pre-tournament win wagers on all other players in the field were refunded.
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