Two more players have withdrawn from the Travelers Championship due to COVID-19 issues, taking the tally to seven.
American Denny McCarthy was experiencing discomfort in the hours following his first round 67 in the Travelers Championship with a Friday morning (local time) test confirming his worst fears.
“I was feeling pretty tired and sore after the round yesterday but didn’t think much of it because I had practiced a lot Monday to Wednesday,” said McCarthy.
“Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night with additional aches and soreness and sensed something was off. I felt like the only thing to do was get tested at that point before I went to the course.”
Fellow American Bud Cauley was in the same group as McCarthy, with suggestions he was also feeling unwell and also withdrew though it was later confirmed by the Tour Caulay did not test positive.
Nonetheless, the withdrawal of McCarthy and Caulay takes to seven the number to have withdrawn from the event being played on the TPC River Highlands course in Cromwell, Connecticut.
The third member of the group, Matt Wallace, with legendary caddie Dave McNeilly on the bag, remains in the tournament.
On Tuesday, American Cameron Champ tested positive for COVID-19, while Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell withdrew when their caddies contracted the virus. Koepka’s brother, Chase then advised he was withdrawing in support of his four-time Major winning brother.
Webb Simpson, winner of last week’s RBC Heritage, was the next withdrawal after one of his five-children family members also tested positive to the virus.
And just prior to World No. 1 Rory McIlroy teeing-up in his second round at 12.50pm local time, PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan released a statement:-
“For the health and well-being of all associated with the tournament and those within the community, the Tour is implementing its response plan in consultation with medical experts, including working with those who may have had close contact with him. As a result, a total of 16 additional tests were or will be administered on Friday; thus far, McCarthy is the lone positive.
“The two players who played alongside McCarthy in the first round, Matt Wallace and Bud Cauley, both tested negative on Friday morning, with Cauley testing negative twice. Both of their caddies, David McNeill (Wallace) and Matt Hauser (Cauley) also tested negative.
“Despite testing negative on two occasions Friday, Cauley has withdrawn as a precautionary measure.
“I’m very thankful I have tested negative but have decided to withdraw out of an abundance of caution for my peers and everyone involved with the tournament,” said Cauley.
“McCarthy is the third PGA Tour member to test positive for Coronavirus since the PGA Tour’s Return to Golf on June 11 (Nick Watney at last week’s RBC Heritage, Cameron Champ earlier this week). A total of 428 individuals (players, caddies, essential personnel) underwent on-site testing prior to the start of this week’s action, with three positive results: Champ and caddies Ken Comboy and Ricky Elliott.
“Denny has our full support as he self-isolates here in Hartford and recovers, and I know I speak for the entire Tour membership in thanking him for doing the right thing in requesting an additional test before heading to the golf course today,” said Jay Monahan, PGA Tour Commissioner.
“What Denny, Bud and others are demonstrating is exactly what we asked of everyone – continue to do your part in taking this virus seriously and keeping not only your own health as a priority, but also that of your fellow competitors and those you may come in contact with.
“Today’s update again demonstrates our rigorous and quick testing, contact tracing capabilities and overall healthy and safety protocols. We will continue to liaise directly with local and state government and health officials this week and throughout our Return to Golf.”