The number of coronavirus-linked withdrawals from the third stop of the PGA Tour’s resumption has risen to seven, after Denny McCarthy returned a positive Covid-19 test before his second round at the Travelers Championship. Bud Cauley, one of McCarthy’s playing partners for Thursday and Friday, removed himself from the field as a safety measure.
After one positive test in the opening two weeks of the PGA Tour’s return, spirits had been high. Yet Cameron Champ doubled that number before the Travelers was under way. As caddies for Graeme McDowell and Brooks Koepka tested positive, they too withdrew. Koepka’s brother, Chase, did likewise as a precaution and Webb Simpson failed to tee off after revealing a member of his family has Covid-19.
McCarthy, the 27-year-old world No 180, started to feel out of sorts after the first round and his condition deteriorated overnight. He now faces at least 10 days in isolation.
In a statement, the PGA Tour said: “For the health and wellbeing 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“Despite testing negative on two occasions on Friday, Cauley has withdrawn as a precautionary measure.”
Wallace therefore encountered the curious scenario of playing as a single on the second day in the midst of competition three-balls.
The PGA Tour and leading players, including Rory McIlroy, remain publicly bullish about continuing with competition. Jay Monahan, the Tour’s commissioner, said: “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.”
When earlier pressed on any point by which play would not be viable, Monahan said he was “very hopeful that we are not going to be in that position”.