PGA Tour Announces New COVID-19 Protocols After 3 Positive Tests at Travelers

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2020

Mackenzie Hughes, center, of Canada, and Fabian Gomez, second from right, of Argentina, walk toward the 15th green during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Friday, June 26, 2020, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

The PGA Tour announced updated healthy and safety measures for players and caddies related to COVID-19 after three positive tests at this week's Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Changes include the need for a negative test before being allowed inside the tournament "bubble" and a Tour fitness truck to discourage players from leaving the area to work out:

Players will be removed from the tournament if they test positive for the coronavirus and would then face a mandatory quarantine of at least 10 days before a potential resumption of play.

The announcement noted players' eligibility for the Tour's stipend program, which makes them eligible for up to $100,000 after a positive COVID-19 test, is dependent on following all guidelines.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan referenced the situation in a press conference Wednesday.

"We have developed a program, a stipend program, for players on our tours," he told reporters. "If they were to test positive during the week or during competition, and to be able to be eligible for those protocols, we've just reconfirmed for our players, you must follow our protocols in order to qualify for the stipend."

PGA Tour player Cameron Champ withdrew from the Travelers after testing positive. Caddies Ricky Elliott (Brooks Koepka) and Ken Comboy (Graeme McDowell) also tested positive for COVID-19, leading Koepka and McDowell to drop out.

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Nick Watney became the first golfer to test positive during last week's RBC Heritage.

Jason Day played the third round of the Travelers solo Saturday morning after requesting a coronavirus test. It later came back negative, the Tour announced.

Monahan confirmed Wednesday they planned to continue with the schedule despite the recent positive tests.

"While we've been thorough in building and implementing a program that mitigates as much risk as possible, we knew it would be impossible to eliminate all risk, as evidenced by the three positive tests this week," he said.

Next up will be the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit next week. The first major of the year, the PGA Championship, is slated to tee off Aug. 6 in San Francisco.

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