Five players have withdrawn from the Travelers Championship this week due to Covid-19-related reasons
PGA Tour To Play On Despite Five Covid-Related Withdrawals
The PGA Tour appears to have weathered its first major storm following the restart after five players withdrew from this week’s Travelers Championship.
There have been two further withdrawals in Webb Simpson and Chase Koepka, who have pulled out due to caution.
PGA Tour Commisioner Jay Monahan spoke yesterday after flying to Connecticut, where the Travelers is taking place, and there were fears that the tour could be suspended again.
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However, the show is carrying on with a number of added safety protocols to ensure that the virus does not continue to spread on the circuit.
“I think the reality is that we all have to learn to live in an environment of Covid-19,” Monahan said.
“I’m concerned, but I’m also confident in the program and protocols we’ve put in place and our ability to be able to sustain the PGA Tour and give our players opportunities on both of these tours over the courses of the year, so long as we continue to be as diligent as we intend to be.”
All pre-tournament interviews have been cancelled and players, caddies and officials will all be wearing Whoop straps, which is what helped Nick Watney diagnose his Covid symptoms.
“I haven’t tested positive for Covid-19, but as I’ve said all along, I’m taking this very seriously,” said Brooks Koepka.
“I don’t want to do anything that might jeopardise the health of any player in the field or his ability to compete.
“I was planning to take the next two weeks off anyway, so the right thing to do right now is get home, support Ricky [his caddie] and feel confident that I’m doing what I can do protecting my fellow Tour members, my PGA Tour friends and everyone associated with the Travelers Championship this week.”
Koepka’s brother Chase Monday-qualified for the Travelers but he has also withdrawn after playing a practice round with Graeme McDowell and Brooks, whose caddies have both tested positive.
“My team and I have all tested negative for Covid-19; however, I was in close contact with someone who tested positive. I feel as if this is the best decision to keep all other players, caddies and volunteers safe. I wish everyone the best of luck this week.”
Last week’s winner Webb Simpson is also out after a family member tested positive.
Graeme McDowell says he is driving the scenic route home after his caddie tested positive.
“I’ve had two negative tests this week – Monday and Wednesday – but if there’s any chance that I could have it, I am not keen on risking the possibility that I could pass it onto anyone else this week in Hartford,” he said.
“I decided to drive back to Orlando today, versus flying and those risks as well.
“I’m just going to take the scenic route down the east coast of the USA for 17 hours and increase my knowledge of US geography a bit.”
This week’s event still has a very strong field with seven of the world’s top 10 players teeing it up.
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