Major champions Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell are among the players who have withdrawn from this week’s Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, after their caddies tested positive for COVID-19, the PGA Tour said on Wednesday.
World No. 4 Koepka and 2010 US Open winner McDowell, who have competed on the PGA Tour the past two weeks, tested negative, but decided to skip the PGA Tour’s third tournament back from the COVID-19 suspension out of caution.
“I don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize the health of any player in the field or his ability to compete,” four-time major winner Koepka said.
Northern Irishman McDowell had two negative tests this week, but considered it prudent to drive straight home since he spent plenty of time with his caddie over the past 10 days, and also felt some fatigue and muscle soreness.
“If there’s any chance that I could have it, I am not keen on risking the possibility that I could pass it onto anyone else this week,” McDowell said. “I decided to drive back to Orlando today, versus flying and those risks as well. I’m just going to take the scenic route down the east coast of the USA for 17 hours and increase my knowledge of US geography a bit.”
World No. 5 Webb Simpson, fresh off a win in South Carolina, is also to sit out after a family member tested positive, while Koepka’s brother, Chase, who qualified on Monday, withdrew after he played a practice round this week with Brooks and McDowell.
“While my tests this week were negative, I feel like it is my responsibility to take care of my family and protect my peers in the field by withdrawing from the Travelers Championship,” 2012 US Open champion Simpson said.
Cameron Champ withdrew on Tuesday after he became the second PGA Tour golfer in a five-day span to test positive for COVID-19.
The Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands is the third of five events on the PGA Tour’s revamped schedule that is closed to the public in a bid to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.
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