Golf: Brooks Koepka, Graeme McDowell withdraw from event after caddie positives

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 25 2020 02:07 AM

Brooks Koepka will not compete in this week's Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour after his caddie tested positive for COVID-19, according to Golfweek. Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports via Reuters

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka and 2010 US Open winner Graeme McDowell will not compete in this week's Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour after their caddies tested positive for COVID-19, according to Golfweek.

Both fourth-ranked Koepka, set to seek a third consecutive PGA Championship title in August, and Northern Irishman McDowell said they would withdraw from the suburban Hartford, Connecticut, tournament.

McDowell planned to withdraw after his long-time caddie, Ken Comboy, tested positive. McDowell played a practice round with Koepka and others on Tuesday and Koepka's caddie, Ricky Elliott, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday morning at TPC River Highlands.

"I'm going to pull out to protect everybody else. I think it's the right thing to do," Koepka told Golfweek. "I don't want to risk anyone's life if they have respiratory issues or underlying conditions.

"The only way this tour can continue is if guys do this sort of thing and be proactive about it."

Koepka, McDowell and their caddies had tested negative on Monday.

McDowell, a February winner at the Saudi International on the European Tour, told Golfweek he planned to get tested Wednesday and fly home to Florida.

"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," McDowell said.

"I'm going to get myself out of here, home to Florida and decide whether I need to quarantine myself from my family."

Comboy took a commercial flight from Texas to Florida two weeks ago after the PGA's first comeback event following a three-month coronavirus shutdown when McDowell's private plane proved too small for his group, according to Golfweek.

McDowell and Koepka are the highest-profile names to withdraw due to coronavirus connections.

Nick Watney is out this week after testing positive last week in South Carolina and fellow American Cameron Champ withdrew Tuesday after testing positive. Both US golfers are isolating under tour guidelines.

"I feel great physically and I was obviously surprised and disappointed to learn of the test result," Champ said. "It's important now to take the necessary steps and measures to protect others, including my loved ones."

World No. 6 Dustin Johnson saud he is pleased with the testing program and safeguards the PGA has in place.

"The tour is doing a great job with all the things they have, the precautions we have to take," Johnson said. "For the most part, most of the guys are pretty safe and they are doing a great job."

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