How the PGA Tour is Playing Through COVID-19
It has been almost one month now since the PGA Tour kicked off "sports comeback" for all professional sports. After a smooth first few weeks, we are now starting to see some issues arise.
This past weekend the Rocket Mortgage Classic was held in Detroit, Michigan. With this being the first invented since the Tour has resumed in which no players had to withdrew due to positive COVID tests or for precautional reasons. The winner of the tournament, Bryson DeChambeau was very emotional in his speech after. Saying, "he hopes this win can motivate others to power through this and continue to chase their dreams".
On June 30th, the PGA Tour did another round of COVID testing and Chad Campbell became the 6th player to test positive since they resumed play. Joining Nick Watney, Cameron Champ, Denny McCarthy, Dylan Fritelli and Harris English. After testing positive Campbell said in a statement to ESPN "I Support the Tour's protocol during this time and will be quarantining myself to protect others until I am well".
All 6 of the players who have tested positive so far are said to feel asymptomatic and physically well.
The biggest turn of events for the PGA was 2 weeks ago at the Travelers Championship held nearby in Cromwell, Connecticut. Which saw more then a handful of players drop out due to either positive test or precautionary reasons. The biggest name being Brooks Koepka who dropped out because he did not feel safe, although tested negative for COVID.
The next PGA event is scheduled for this upcoming weekend in Dublin, Ohio for the Workday Charity Open. Again all players will go through testing and protocols to be able to play in the tournament.
The latest news however, is the Memorial Tournament hosted at the same course beginning on July 16th, which was going to be the first sporting event to host fans since COVID began. The tournament host Jack Nicklaus had mapped out for 8,000 fans to be allowed to spectate each day while social distancing.
However, just this morning PGA commissioner Jay Monahan released a statement saying "Given the broader challenges communities are facing due to the ongoing pandemic, we need to stay focused on our number 1 priority for our return to golf...". After his statement, there will now be no fans allowed next week at The Memorial.
Fans will have to wait to see the next Tiger fist pump in person, but the PGA Tour is taking the right steps in the right direction.