DETROIT — It’s been a whirlwind eight days for Cameron Champ, who was the first of a handful of players to withdraw from the Travelers Championship after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Champ followed with three tests in a 72-hour span that all came back negative, and now, under a tweak of the PGA Tour’s Health and Safety Plan, he’ll be eligible to play at this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.
The Tour had based its self-isolation period of 10 days on the Centers for Disease Control’s protocols, but according to a release late Wednesday, the Tour will be transitioning to the CDC’s test-based model for those who are not showing COVID symptoms.
Players and caddies will need to follow any positive test with two negative tests a minimum of 24 hours apart.
Since Champ, a two-time winner on Tour, has done such, he’ll be eligible for play when the event starts on Thursday morning under the new guidelines.
“I am extremely grateful for the tireless efforts and conversations between the TOUR, my team and all of the experts who were consulted in order to deliver this best possible outcome,” Champ said in a release. “It is a great example of everyone being committed to working together to adapt and evolve in this constantly changing environment. I would especially like to thank my fellow players for their support and cannot wait to tee it up with them in Detroit tomorrow!”
Champ will be added to the field and has been assigned a 2:10 p.m. tee time off the back nine.
He’s not the only one impacted by the new protocols. Harris English and Chad Campbell will be able to return to next week’s Tour event in Columbus, Ohio, while Brandon Wu and Jonathan Hodge will be eligible for the Korn Ferry Tour’s tournament in San Antonio, Texas — if all four show no signs of the virus and come back with two negative test results. All four had previously tested positive.
“As we all learn more about how to navigate this complicated COVID-19 environment, we appreciate the continued dialogue with medical experts and with the Centers for Disease Control directly as we fine-tune our Health & Safety Plan accordingly,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “Today’s changes — and those announced over the past week — illustrate our commitment to preserving the health and well-being of our athletes, constituents and our impact on the communities in which we play, as well as a willingness to make medically-sound adjustments that allow our players to compete, safely. The continued success of our return to golf depends on that approach.”
The Tour also announced that the stipend program, which previously offered players who tested positive $100,000 according to a report, has also been updated.
According to the Tour:To be eligible for the applicable stipend following an on-site positive test, a player or caddie returning from an off week must have completed an at-home test the week prior to returning to play. The stipend amounts have been adjusted to make them equal for an on-site positive or an at-home positive test result.