Three players who continue to test positive for COVID-19 are playing in this week’s Workday Charity Open at Dublin, Ohio.
Dylan Frittelli, Denny McCarthy and Nick Watney played in the same threesome during Thursday’s first round due to the situation. All three had quarantined for 10 days and were showing no symptoms.
The PGA Tour updated its protocols on Wednesday to say that a player or caddie who tested positive with symptoms and continues to test positive can return to the course as long as it has been 72 hours since recovery.
The Tour defined recovery as “resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms.” The new protocol also stated 10 days have had to pass since the first symptoms.
Frittelli and McCarthy each shot 1-over 73 and Watney was at 5-over 77 after Thursday’s round.
Performance aside, Frittelli was excited to not be in quarantine.
“It’s been pretty boring the last five, six days sitting around doing nothing,” the South African told reporters. “It was fun to get out here.”
Frittelli said he took a saliva test and nasal test earlier this week and both came back positive.
The players will compete together again on Friday as they are not allowed to be paired with other players. If the players make the cut, they will play as a single entity with the weekend tee times corresponding to their scores.
They also are finding support from one another and making the best of a situation that also prevents them from entering the clubhouse, gym and physical therapy trailer.
“We have our own little pocket underneath the old pro shop,” Frittelli said. “So the three of us can go down there and have a meal and just chill out there together.”
Frittelli said he experienced nasal congestion, minor muscle aches and headaches while battling the coronavirus. He also lost his sense of smell, a symptom Watney also reported.
Watney was the first PGA Tour player to test positive and he withdrew from the RBC Heritage on June 19 prior to the second round. McCarthy withdrew from the Travelers Championship one week later prior to the second round of that event due to a positive result, while Frittelli tested positive on June 28 and withdrew from the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
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