PGA Tour Tightens Player Safety Measures After Positive COVID-19 Tests
Following four positive coronavirus tests between players and caddies, the PGA Tour is refining is safety measures.
After having no positive tests in the Tour’s first tournament back, Nick Watney tested positive at the RBC Heritage and then Cameron Champ, Brooks Keopka’s caddie and Greame McDowell’s caddie tested positive at The Travelers.
In total, five players withdrew from The Travelers tournament.
“We all need to remind ourselves that we’re all learning to live with this virus. It’s pretty clear that this virus isn’t going anywhere,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
The PGA and Korn Ferry Tours have done a combined 2,757 tests, resulting in just seven positive results.
The new restrictions and safety measures are as follows:
• Those who travel via the TOUR-procured charter will be subject to the arrival testing procedures (nasal swab), in addition to the pre-charter test.
• Player instructors have been added to the on-site testing protocol (i.e. “the bubble”).
• Starting with next week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, the TOUR-sponsored fitness trailer will be on site in an effort to further control the environment where players interact. “One of the things that we’ve identified or we want to eliminate is players going to off-site gyms,” Monahan said. “Having our physio trailers here will help that. All of our players entering those physio trailers will be wearing masks.”
• The stipend policy has been updated to specify that a player will not be eligible if he has tested positive for COVID-19 after not following the safety protocols outlined in the Participant Resource Guide.
“All of us have an extraordinary responsibility to follow those protocols,” Monahan said. “For any individual that does not, there will be serious repercussions.”