(Reuters) - Denny McCarthy has become the third golfer on the PGA Tour to test positive for COVID-19 and the American has withdrawn from the ongoing Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, the Tour confirmed on Friday.
Nick Watney was the first Tour player to test positive last week and Cameron Champ did so at a pre-tournament screening this week.
World number four Brooks Koepka and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell also withdrew from the tournament as a precaution after their caddies tested positive. The two golfers tested negative.
“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,” McCarthy told the PGA Tour.
“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.”
McCarthy is set to self-isolate for 10 days as per Tour protocols. His caddie Derek Smith tested negative.
Matt Wallace and Bud Cauley played alongside McCarthy in the opening round on Thursday and both players and their caddies tested negative.
However, Cauley said he decided to withdraw 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, Cauley said.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan thanked McCarthy for “doing the right thing” in requesting an additional test on Friday before heading to the course.
“What Denny, Bud and others are demonstrating is exactly what we asked of everyone,” Monahan said.
“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.”
On Thursday, world number one Rory McIlroy said calls to cancel the Travelers Championship due to the coronavirus were silly as only a “quarter of a percent” of nearly 3,000 tests had been positive.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar
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