Despite three positive coronavirus tests over the last two days and a total of four tests over the last week or so, the PGA Tour plans to resume play at the Travelers Championship and beyond.
“We need to learn to live with this virus. This virus isn’t going anywhere. You’re going to have more [positive] tests going forward,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan during a press conference on Wednesday.
While the tour is resuming, Monahan highlighted stricter rules, including more testing for those on the PGA’s charter, and personnel surrounding players.
There will also be harsher punishments for those who break the rules.
“All of us have an extraordinary responsibility to follow those protocols. For any individual who doesn’t there will be serious repercussions,” Monahan added.
So if the PGA Tour is set to carry on after three positive tests in two days, is there a tipping point in which the Tour would have to shut down?
On that question, Monahan says, “There certainly are scenarios where if you had a significant number of positive tests…you’d have to be thinking along those lines. But for us, we’re confident with the plan we have.”
Positive Tests on PGA Tour
On Wednesday, Brooks Keopka’s caddie was identified as the fourth positive test on the PGA Tour since the restart, and the third one just this week after Cameron Champ and Graeme McDowell’s caddie tested positive on Tuesday.
“I haven’t tested positive for COVID-19, but as I’ve said all along, I’m taking this very seriously. I won’t want to do anything that might jeopardize the health of any player in the field or his ability to compete. The right thing to do right now is get home, support Ricky 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,” said Keopka in a statement.
To clarify, McDowell’s caddie was not on site at the Travelers Championship, he was already quarantining in Orlando, according to GolfWeek.
Webb Simpson and Chase Keopka also withdrew out of precaution.
“Thank you to everyone who sent me messages about successfully Monday qualifying for this weeks PGA tour event. Despite being very excited about playing the Travelers Championship, I am electing to withdraw. Myself and my team have tested negative for COVID-19, however, I was in close contact with someone who tested positive. I fell 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,” said Chase Keopka in a statement.
The PGA Tour’s first positive test came last week at the RBC Heritage when Nick Watney fell victim to coronavirus.
This is a developing story….