Those US-born players heading to next fortnight’s Open Championship are in for a real shock when it comes to Covid-19 precautions in place here in Europe.
The US has one of the highest death tolls in the world resulting from the pandemic yet is among the first to be lifting restrictions. Of course, the PGA Tour has had in place player testing and other means to contain the virus but from most reports, there has not been half the measures enacted as we’ve seen on the European Tour.
This is no more evident with news the PGA Tour will stop onsite Covid-19 testing beginning at next month’s 3M Open, according to a memo sent to players on Monday.
“Due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for Covid-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open,” the PGA Tour memo read.
At last month’s Memorial, the Tour’s senior vice president of tournament administration, Andy Levinson, said the circuit’s “fully vaccinated population is north of 50 percent”. Jon Rahm was forced to withdraw from the Memorial following the third round after testing positive for Covid-19.
According to the memo, the Tour will continue to have onsite testing capabilities for players, caddies or officials who become symptomatic. If a player tests positive for Covid-19 after becoming symptomatic, he will still be required to quarantine according to CDC guidelines and withdraw from the event.
The Tour still plans to limit access to the weekly “bubble” to players and significant others through the Tour Championship. It’s understood on-site testing will continue at Korn Ferry Tour events.
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre has been forced to withdraw from this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open as he has to self-isolate. The world number 51 was identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for Covid-19 after his flight home from the US Open last week.
We all know you have to respect the rules at the moment and wish whoever tested positive a safe a speedy recovery ?
— Robert MacIntyre (@robert1lefty) June 28, 2021