The sight of Jon Rahm slumped to his knees at Memorial, his six-shot lead erased by a swab, should have sent any athlete that hadn’t been vaccinated straight to his or her local pharmacy. As cautionary tales go, watching $1.67 million slip through a guy’s fingers ought to carry the same clout Jaws had on a day at the beach.

Montez Sweat must not watch much golf, though. Washington’s fine defensive end told reporters this week he probably won’t get a COVID shot. Not until he gets more facts.

Or any, apparently.

Asked what gives him pause, Sweat said, “I haven’t caught COVID yet. I don’t see me treating COVID until I actually get COVID.”

This is a little like saying you don’t wear a seat belt because you haven’t been in a wreck yet. Or that you’ll practice safe sex when you’re pregnant. Qualifying for Medicare has taught me that few things in life are retroactive. Nothing’s expunging the record of my ’72 Vega.

Now, it’s one thing if you have religious reservations about COVID vaccines, even as troubling as that can be for everyone around you. But it’s another when you have simply been asleep in your pew.

Never mind that we still don’t know all the potential long-term effects of COVID. We know the short-term, and, as Rahm will tell you, we can now add the wallop to your wallet.

You’d think the hit on Rahm’s bottom line would be enough to make pro athletes tremble. But as Sweat and others have shown, until it comes knocking at their doors, they’ll take their chances.

Here’s the crazy part about Rahm’s results Saturday: He’s not even the first to test positive. Four golfers have been removed from tournaments over the last year. Even at that, a Tour spokesman said only a little more than half of Tour players have been fully vaccinated.

Last month at the Nelson, we learned that Jordan Spieth had COVID this year, too. His quarantine meant that he missed the Valspar, site of his second Tour win. The effects of his three-week layoff also impacted his performance at the Nelson. After shooting an opening-round 63 at TPC Craig Ranch, he conceded that he came out Friday “a little tight” after going so long without practicing. As a result, he hung up a 70, eventually losing the tournament by seven strokes.

The guys chasing the lead at the Memorial -- Patrick Cantlay, who made off with Rahm’s money, and Highland Park’s Scottie Scheffler -- have both had COVID. Scheffler got it last year and missed the U.S. Open as a result. Cantlay had it earlier this year and knows he could get it again.

“Obviously it is something of a concern,” he told reporters, “but I got to imagine that I had it earlier this year, so I’m feeling pretty OK about it.”

“Pretty OK” sounds like Tracy Morgan telling a family of four he’s “pretty sure” their car can jump this bridge.

What we appear to have here is a case of young people thinking this is an old person’s problem. They’re not necessarily against vaccines. They simply don’t have time for them.

Or at least that’s the testimony of Genevieve Messick, medical director at a vaccine pop-up site at the Memorial.

“What we’re seeing now is that there was a group of people who weren’t really opposed to getting the vaccine, but it had to be convenient,” Messick told Golf.com.

“It was a younger population, they’re busier, they don’t have much free time.”

Factors other than youth present themselves, too. A recent PEW study found that only 42% of Black adults and 55 percent of White evangelicals said they would be vaccinated. Concerns are rooted in mistrust of the federal government because of its history in medical studies.

The numbers in the paragraph above are bound to have had an impact on efforts by pro sports to get their teams vaccinated. Half of MLB clubs have reached the 85 percent vaccination threshold. As a result, players and officials on those teams can go maskless in the dugout and bullpen and don’t have to wear tracking devices. They can get chummy on airplanes and buses. They get to dine indoors.

Best of all, they don’t get a swab shoved up their noses every day!

For the record: The Rangers are among the liberated, but I don’t think they’re a recommendation for much of anything these days.

We know the effect that COVID had on the Mavs this season. Five players missed a total of 41 games, a figure that led the league. Safe to say it contributed to a 9-14 start. They went 33-16 the rest of the season to finish with the fifth seed. Had they played at that 67.3% clip the entire season, they would have finished with the third seed and avoided Kawhi Leonard for at least another week.

The Cowboys have yet to hit the 85% mark, not that Jerry Jones isn’t trying. He’s done a 180 since the pandemic hit. Losing Andy Dalton because of COVID might have been a factor.

Jerry’s bottom line was a bigger reason.

“This is a tragedy that we’ve had in this country,” he said in December, “and it’s a tragedy of what’s happening to our financial underpinning.”

No matter what your politics or history or religious beliefs, surely you see his case. He gets it. You can question the Cowboys owner all you want about his football acumen, and I’m right there with you. But never mess with Jerry’s money.

©2021 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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