Rory McIlroy: PGA Tour Has to 'Shut It Down' If Player Gets Coronavirus

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 13, 2020

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the fourth hole during the first round of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 12, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The PGA Tour has continued play despite numerous sports organizations either canceling or postponing their seasons on Wednesday and Thursday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, No. 1 world golfer Rory McIlroy said that he felt the tour should "shut it down" if a player tests positive for the disease.

"It's a scary time, and I think the PGA Tour have taken a step in the right direction and I think we just have to take it day by day," McIlroy said per ESPN's Bob Harig.

"More than anything, everyone needs to get tested. I saw there's commercial labs now that are testing at some capacity, I guess, and for us to keep playing on the PGA Tour, all the tour players and people who are involved need to get tested and make sure no one's got it.

"Because everyone knows you can have it and not have symptoms and pass it on to someone who's more susceptible to getting very ill from it."

McIlroy made the comments after his round at The Players Championship, which began play on Thursday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

The PGA Tour plans to host the entire event, which ends Sunday, but will not allow fans for the remainder of the competition, a ban will continue through the last day of the Valero Texas Open on April 5.

The PGA Tour is an outlier in a sports world that has seen the suspension of the NBA, NHL and MLS seasons, a minimum six-week suspension of professional tennis and the outright cancellation of NCAA winter and spring sports championships.

On the flip side, the show will go on in NASCAR on Sunday in Atlanta, albeit without spectators. Bellator 241 will be held in Uncasville, Connecticut without fans as well.

The PGA Tour did cancel the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in Punta Cana, Domincan Republic because of international travel restrictions, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said on Thursday. However, he added that tournaments stateside will continue "with essential personnel only" through at least April 5.

Monahan did note, however, that "plans could change" in what he called an "incredibly fluid and dynamic situation."

Plans changed dramatically on Wednesday as the NBA season was suddenly suspended after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. The dominoes fell in other sports rapidly over the next 24 hours.

For now, however, the show will go on in the PGA Tour, which plans to head to Palm Harbor, Florida, for the Valspar Championship on March 19.