A positive COVID test may have kept Bryson DeChambeau from competing for a gold medal at the Olympics in Tokyo, but that doesn’t mean he would have gone about anything differently.
“The vaccine doesn’t necessarily prevent it from happening,” DeChambeau told a few reporters after his nine-hole pro-am round at TPC Southwind on Wednesday.
DeChambeau also suggested that he was abstaining from the vaccine to avoid taking it from someone else, even though there isn’t a shortage of vaccines in the United States and more than 70% of U.S. adults have already received at least one dose.
“I don’t think taking the vaccine away from someone who needs it is a good thing,” he said. “My dad is a perfect example. He got it [the vaccine] early on because he’s a diabetic. People like that need to get it. My mom got it. I don’t want to take away that ability.”
“Now as time goes on, if it [the vaccine] is mainstream, really, really mainstream, then yeah,” DeChambeau said.
The Centers for Disease Control director has said that 97% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have not been vaccinated.
DeChambeau reportedly tested positive on July 23 as part of Olympic protocols in which three negative COVID tests in consecutive days were required in order to fly to Tokyo. DeChambeau said that he did take another test in order to make sure it was not a false positive, but began to feel symptoms a few days after the initial positive test.
“They didn’t think it was a false positive, they just wanted to be sure,” he said. “I didn’t feel anything for two days. All of a sudden, started to feel tired. Started getting fully better two or three days ago. For the most part, it’s funny, you stay at home and you quarantine for so long, you just feel tired. You’re not doing anything.”
He was replaced on the team by Patrick Reed, who finished tied for 22nd in the Olympic golf tournament.
“I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA,” DeChambeau said in a statement after finding out he tested positive. “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.”
DeChambeau said he took precautions to not contract COVID but felt that it was “bound to happen.”
“It was bound to happen,” he said. “Unfortunately, it happened that week. The odds are you get tested enough, you travel around, it’s going to happen. I tried to take all the necessary precautions to not contract it, and unfortunately, on Friday [July 23] I tested positive. I tested positive a few times [in the aftermath]. You can’t do anything about it.
DeChambeau is ranked seventh in the world but has just one top-10 finish since March as he plays in the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational at TPCS Southwind this weekend.
He said that he’s lost 8-10 pounds since testing positive and finally started feeling better three days ago.
“I’m not really expecting much,” DeChambeau said of this week. “I’m just going out here and trying to get through the week and feel comfortable and then do it again.
“Maybe lower expectations will help me this week.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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