Positive COVID test knocks Bryson DeChambeau out of Olympics

Bryson DeChambeau was scratched from the U.S. men’s Olympic golf team on Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19 in the team’s final screening before heading to Tokyo.

He was replaced on Team USA by Patrick Reed, joining Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.

DeChambeau said in a statement issued by USA Golf: “I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA. Representing my country means the world to me and it is was a tremendous honor 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 said in a statement: “I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent our country and be a part of Team USA in Tokyo. 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.”

USA Golf executive director Andy Levinson added in a statement: “We’re obviously disappointed for Bryson, as we know how much he was looking forward to representing the United States in his first Olympics. But we’re thrilled that Patrick Reed is excited to play for his country when he is called upon, even with the strenuous testing protocols and he is set to arrive just in time to compete — on a golf course he will have never seen prior to the start of competition.

“It really illustrates the importance of the Olympics and the value Patrick places on playing for Team USA and for his country. We’re excited to welcome him to Tokyo soon and know he’ll be a formidable competitor for Team USA.”

DeChambeau, 27, is ranked sixth in the world. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year for his eighth career PGA Tour victory. His only major title came at the 2020 U.S. Open.

Reed, 30, prevailed at the 2018 Masters for his lone major championship. He has nine career PGA Tour wins, including the Farmers Insurance Open in January, and he is ranked 13th in the world.

Morikawa is ranked No. 3, Thomas is No. 4 and Schauffele is No. 5. Morikawa won the Open Championship last week for his second major title.

The men’s Olympic golf tournament runs Thursday through Aug. 1 at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan.

The same venue will host the women’s Olympic golf event the following week. The U.S. women’s team consists of Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda.

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