Koepka, McDowell withdraw from PGA event after caddies test positive


Golfer marking his ball

Golfer marking his ball

Shaun Roy/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Pictures

4-time main champion Brooks Koepka and previous US Open winners Webb Simpson and Graeme McDowell are amongst six golfers who will not compete within the US PGA Vacationers Championship after three Covid-19 optimistic exams on the occasion.

US PGA commissioner Jay Monahan has tightened restrictions within the tour’s well being and security plan within the wake of optimistic exams by US participant Cameron Champ, McDowell’s caddie Ken Comboy and Koepka’s caddie Ricky Elliott.

“I have never examined optimistic for Covid-19, however as I’ve stated all alongside, I am taking this very significantly,” Koepka stated. “I do not wish to do something which may jeopardize the well being of any participant within the subject or his capacity to compete.

Fourth-ranked Koepka is ready to hunt a 3rd consecutive PGA Championship title in August.

“The precise factor to do proper now could be get dwelling, help Ricky and really feel assured that I am doing what I can do defending my fellow tour members,” Koepka stated.

Individuals Cameron Champ, Nick Watney and Chase Koepka are the opposite golfers who will miss the occasion beginning Thursday at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, within the tour’s third occasion again from a three-month coronavirus shutdown.

“All of us must study to dwell with this virus. It is fairly clear this virus is not going wherever,” Monahan stated.

“We will have extra positives going ahead. We’re simply going to proceed to refine (safeguards) and get higher and higher and discover new methods to mitigate the chance.”

Watney examined optimistic final week in South Carolina. Champ was optimistic on Tuesday. Comboy and Elliott examined optimistic after Koepka, his youthful brother Chase and Northern Eire’s McDowell practiced collectively Tuesday.

“I’ve skilled some fatigue and muscle soreness myself,” 2010 US Open winner McDowell stated. “I did not consider it as Covid associated… however now that Kenny has examined optimistic… I’ve to take these signs extra significantly.

“I am not eager on risking the chance that I may cross it onto anybody else this week.”

Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion who gained final week’s Heritage title, examined unfavorable twice for the lethal virus however withdrew after a member of the family examined optimistic. He plans to quarantine in North Carolina.

Tighter protocols embrace further exams upon arrival in each occasion metropolis and bringing the tour’s health trailer on website every week so golfers keep away from gymnasium visits.

“We are going to most likely proceed to make changes. The adjustments we have made this week are an excellent step,” stated Monahan. “We’re going to verify we take time to bolster the sturdy protocols we have already got.

“We really feel like we will be in place to maintain our return.”

Monahan promised punishments for anybody not following social distance, masking or different protocols contained in the PGA’s security zone.

“For many who don’t, there shall be severe repercussions,” Monahan stated. “Penalties shall be important.

“We have gotten a bit bit lax or away from protocol. That is the sort of tightening we have to do to verify we’re in a very good place shifting ahead.”The PGA plans to welcome again spectators to occasions in mid-July on the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial in Dublin, Ohio.

“We’re assured in that plan,” stated Monahan, including, “We’re solely going to do it if it is a wholesome and secure atmosphere for our gamers, caddies and the followers who could be attending.”

Monahan says whereas there are Covid-19 dangers in staging occasions, he does not count on so many positives it might power one other tour shutdown.

“They’re containable and we will keep away from that state of affairs,” Monahan stated. “We’re assured within the plan we’ve and we’re hopeful we’re not going to be in that place.”

Charley Hoffman, a member of the Gamers Advisory Council, stated enjoying in Texas and South Carolina was “just about the wild, wild west” after tight virus safeguards in California.

“We’re studying from our errors,” he stated. “We’re not excellent. We’re engaged on that day by day. We will get higher and we will lead by instance.

“If we nonetheless wish to maintain enjoying golf, we have to know this virus.”

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