Nick Watney, Denny McCarthy and Dylan Frittelli, who all tested positive for COVID during the PGA Tour’s restart and who the Tour says continue to test positive, are in the field at this week’s Workday Charity Open and, after a late change to the tee times, will play in the same group for the first two rounds.
After releasing initial tee times on Tuesday, the Tour announced on Wednesday night that the tee times were adjusted so that those three golfers could be grouped together.
They will now go off the 10th tee on Thursday at 9:13 a.m., a tee time that previously wasn’t on the schedule.
On June 19, Watney withdrew from the RBC Heritage prior to the second round after testing positive for COVID-19, the first PGA Tour player to test positive.
On June 26, McCarthy tested positive for coronavirus and he subsequently withdrew from the Travelers Championship before the second round.
On June 28, the Tour announced that Frittelli tested positive for COVID-19 in screening ahead of a charter flight from Hartford, Connecticut – where he missed the cut at the Travelers – to Detroit, where he withdrew from the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
The Tour said it is following the CDC’s symptom-based model for those three golfers, as they have continued to return positive tests but they all meet the CDC guidelines for Return to Work.
Part of the Tour’s statement reads:
For clarity regarding players and caddies who tested positive for COVID-19 and were symptomatic – in accordance with CDC “Return to Work” guidelines and in consultation with the PGA Tour Medical Advisor and infectious disease experts – cases in which a player or caddie tested positive and continues to test positive, the Tour follows a symptom-based model, as outlined by the CDC, allowing for him to return to competition if:
• At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, which is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
• At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Watney was initially grouped with Seung-Yul Noh and Bo Van Pelt; Frittelli was originally with Nick Taylor and Hideki Matsuyama; McCarthy was with Fabian Gomez and Scott Stallings. Those golfers will remain in their slots as pairs.
Also, the Tour, in accordance with those CDC guidelines, is using a “test-based model for asymptomatic cases in which a player or caddie who tests positive but has not had any symptoms may return to competition if he returns two negative tests results, a minimum of 24 hours apart.”
That’s how Cameron Champ, who also initially tested positive for COVID, was able to play in last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.
This week, Champ is grouped with Nate Lashley and Keegan Bradley for the first two rounds at the Workday Charity Open.