Cameron Champ has become the second player in a mere five-day window of the PGA Tour’s resumption to test positive for Covid-19. The 25-year-old American insisted he felt “great” despite the outcome, which was discovered during pre-tournament screening for the Travelers Championship. Champ now faces a mandatory spell of at least 10 days in isolation.
In a further blow Graeme McDowell has withdrawn from the troubled tournament after his caddie, Ken Comboy, tested positive for coronavirus.
“For the protection of the field, and for my own physical and mental well-being, I’m going to take a test tomorrow morning then jump on a private plane,” said McDowell. “I’m going to get myself out of here, home to Florida and decide whether I need to quarantine myself from my family.”
Focus sharpened towards the PGA Tour’s protocols after Nick Watney tested positive for Covid-19 immediately before his second round at last week’s RBC Heritage event. Champ did not play in that tournament but competed in all four rounds of the Charles Schwab Challenge a week earlier, which marked the PGA Tour’s restart after a three-month break.
“I feel great physically and I was obviously surprised and disappointed to learn of the test result,” said Champ. “It’s important now to take the necessary steps and measures to protect others, including my loved ones.”
The PGA Tour is expected to release a full set of testing results on Wednesday. Naturally, there will be concern at the extent to which Covid-19 could spread as professional golf in the United States continues from state to state. Spectators are scheduled to be allowed back into the PGA Tour from mid-July.
Before news of Champ’s situation emerged, Jordan Spieth suggested protocols might be tightened on account of Watney’s result. “We’re going to continue to make minor adjustments,” said Spieth. “I think the idea of extra testing has come around. The idea of mandatory tests for anyone who was even within six feet, whether they made physical contact with somebody who had a positive test, making those kind of mandatory, because the testing is very, very easy. It goes very quickly.
“Sure, it’s uncomfortable for a second, but being able to mitigate the risk is the number one priority. We’ve looked into having dinner options so to keep the bubble even smaller. There are adjustments that are being talked about and will be they’ll be made as we move on.”