Graeme McDowell has taken the wise decision to withdraw from this week’s Travelers Championship after his caddie, Ken Comboy, tested positive for coronavirus.
McDowell underwent a test on Monday, the results of which were negative but Comboy had complained of symptoms and has since tested positive. We’re wishing Ken all the best in his recovery.
“For the protection of the field and for my own physical and mental well-being, I’m going to take a test tomorrow morning then jump on a private plane,” McDowell told Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch prior to his decision to withdraw.
“I’m going to get myself out of here, home to Florida and decide whether I need to quarantine myself from my family.”
“We’re a close-knit team,” McDowell added. “We roomed together last week, we spent six hours in a car. He’s carrying the virus so in some way I have to be carrying it too.”
McDowell played a practice round Tuesday with Shane Lowry, Brooks Koepka and Chase Koepka and becomes the second player to drop out of the upcoming Travelers Championship after the PGA confirmed Cameron Champ had tested positive for coronavirus.
The Tour advised Champ has withdrawn after testing positive for COVID-19 during pre-tournament screening on Tuesday at the TPC River Highlands course near Cromwell, Connecticut.
Last Friday, fellow American and father of four, Nick Watney tested positive ahead of the second round of the RBC Heritage Classic in South Carolina.
Adding to Watney’s concern was revelations he had travelled on the same private jet from Texas to South Carolina as Sergio Garcia, and then ahead of his second round, Watney was in conversation with World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
It was minutes later in speaking with McIlroy, Watney’s pre-COVID-19 daily test proved positive however McIlroy and others with whom Watney came in contact, including his opening round playing partners were tested ‘negative’.
Champ, who turned 25 earlier this month, expressed disappointment the virus has ruled him out of this week’s event after securing a top-15 finish in last fortnight’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
He said: “I feel great physically and I was obviously surprised and disappointed to learn of the test result.
“It’s important now to take the necessary steps and measures to protect others, including my loved ones.”
This latest confirmed COVID-19 cases could easily now lead to strong calls for a PGA Tour shut down of any further competition.