Brooks Koepka Withdraws from Travelers Championship After His Caddie Tests Positive for COVID-19
Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the Travelers Championship after his Caddy Ricky Elliott has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The 30-year-old professional golfer told Golfweek that Elliott tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
"I will withdraw to protect everyone else. I think it is the right thing to do," said Koepka. "I don't want to risk someone's life if they have breathing problems or underlying illnesses. The only way to do this tour." I can go on if guys do something like that and proactively use it. "
Koepka, Elliott and Koepka's trainer Claude Harmon III were initially tested on COVID-19 as a precaution after playing a training session with Graeme McDowell, whose Caddy Ken Comboy had tested positive.
“We were all tested on Monday - myself, Claude and Ricky. We all came back negative, ”said Koepka. "We had no symptoms. Nothing."
However, Elliott's additional test on Wednesday was positive, which prompted Koepka to immediately withdraw from the Travelers Championship.
"Ricky has my full support. I feel bad for him," said Koepka. "We have to do everything not to spread it. We have to protect the field. That is why we have these rules."
Warren Little / Getty Brooks Koepka
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Koepka said he and his team were strictly blocked on tour during the first three events, lived in rental apartments with a chef, and only went to go to the golf course or to be tested.
The only time anyone left isolation was Monday, June 15th, when Elliott joined McDowell and Comboy at a close friend's funeral in Orlando.
40-year-old McDowell said Golfweek that Comboy now believes he was exposed to the virus on a commercial flight he made two days earlier on June 13 from Dallas to Orlando after the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Koepka said he and his girlfriend Jena Sims and his cook will be tested for coronavirus on the golf course on Wednesday. Based on the results, he will decide whether to return to Jupiter, Florida, or to quarantine in Connecticut.
"I'd rather be safe than embarrassed," he said.
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Last week Nick Watney was the first golfer on the PGA Tour to become infected with the corona virus. He immediately retired from the RBC Heritage.
Watney previously had a negative COVID-19 test when he arrived in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He is now in self-isolation.
Sam Greenwood / Getty Images Nick Watney
The PGA Tour has since established a health and safety plan that requires every player who has tested positive to be "immediately isolated" at least 10 days after the positive test and has no subsequent symptoms or two negative test results for at least 24 hours Part."
The tour revealed that 369 players, caddies, and key staff were tested on site before the RBC Heritage started, and none were tested positive.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic changes rapidly, PEOPLE strives to provide the latest data in our reporting. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest information on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO and local health authorities. Donate to Direct Relief to provide life-saving medical resources to doctors and nurses at the forefront.
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