WHOOP strap key in detecting Nick Watney's positive test
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - The WHOOP belt has become an integral part of the PGA tour. Players use it to collect physiological data to analyze the stress, recovery and sleep of an athlete's body. Nick Watney's belt could also have played a key role in recognizing the tour's first positive COVID-19 test.
Watney was the first player to test positive for coronavirus on RBC Heritage on Friday. According to a tour press release, Watney had "symptoms related to the disease" early Friday, but the circuit did not specify what symptoms occurred.
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"Nick said what caught him last morning was that he was wearing a WHOOP belt," said Rory McIlroy, who exchanged text messages with Watney after retiring.
“As one of the great telltale signs they have found in the past few weeks, they have conducted studies where if your breathing rate increases by more than two breaths per minute at night, this could be a kind of telltale sign for you. "
"It was actually his WHOOP who told him that his breathing rate was up, so he thought I might have it."
RBC Heritage: Full Field Results Complete coverage
McIlroy, who briefly spoke to Watney on the putting green on Friday before retiring but didn't have to do a coronavirus test due to contact tracking, said Watney's plight had made everyone aware of the potential of the virus.
"I looked at my [WHOOP belt] this morning to see what my breathing rate was and to make sure it was okay, and you're going from there," he said. "I'm totally fine."
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