American Harris English was chosen on Monday as the fifth US Tour player tested positive For COVID-19 since the three-month shutdown of the tour ended on June 11. The PGA has tightened safety measures related to the coronavirus. Two players and two cans tested positive two weeks ago to raise concerns and impose stricter restrictions, as players must test negative to be allowed into tournaments. The tour said in a statement that an English test, which was not played last week in Connecticut, tested positive during a pre-tournament screening process in Detroit for the Rocket Mortgage Classic that begins Thursday.
The English have withdrawn from their fourth PGA return tournament and will begin self-isolation under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and tour protocols.
“While it is disappointing to receive this news, as I feel so well, I am pleased that the new safety protocols we have put in place this week are working,” English said in a statement.
“I have fully endorsed the Tour’s new rule that no one in the tournament’s stadiums is allowed until they test negative, whereby protecting others on the field, all tournament affiliates and the community should be the number one priority as a result of positive testing.
“I appreciate the Tour’s support and look forward to competing again having fully recovered.”
The Englishman’s positivity came a day after South African Dylan Fritelli tested positive for the coronavirus before traveling on the PGA player’s charter to Detroit on Sunday from the Travelers Championship.
Nick Watney was the first player to test positive for the virus at the Heritage Championship two weeks ago while fellow Americans Cameron Champ and Denny McCarthy tested positive last week in Cromwell, Connecticut.
The 30-year-old English of Georgia is ranked 139th in the world, winning just two PGA titles in 2013 at the St. Jude Classic and Mayakoba Classic.
The English have made five of the top 10 spots this season, most recently being ninth at Bay Hill in March.
This week’s event and the first of two consecutive tournaments next week in Dublin, Ohio, is set to be the last without a spectator.
Fewer fans are scheduled to attend the Memorial Championships hosted by Jack Nicklaus in Muirfield Village starting July 16.
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