PGA Tour will no longer single out players or have 'COVID only' pairings
Dylan Frittelli is among players who have had to play alone on the PGA Tour because he previously tested positive for COVID-19.
Kevin C. Cox
There will no longer be COVID-19 pairings on the PGA Tour for players who continue to test positive for the virus after 10 days of isolation and 72 hours without any fever or respiratory symptoms.
The PGA Tour Policy Board approved the change to the tour’s health and safety policy on Monday and players were emailed on Tuesday afternoon notifying them of the decision, which is effective immediately.
“This guideline is underpinned by research conducted by the CDC that indicates that in no instances yet discovered has there been a case where virus is able to self-replicate beyond the 10th day following a positive test, and therefore an individual in this situation poses no harm to others,” Tyler Dennis, the tour’s chief of operations, said in the memo obtained by Golf Digest. “However, in the event that the individual continues to be tested [as is the case in the PGA Tour health and safety protocol], it is very likely that the individual will continue to return a positive result.”
Earlier this month, these players were allowed to return to competition but weren’t allowed access to locker rooms, fitness facilities and were only grouped with others in the “timed out” policy. Now, these players will be able to compete with no restrictions.
Dylan Frittelli, Harris English and Denny McCarthy have been subject to the “timed out” policy in recent weeks and were required to play as a single or in a group of other players who tested positive for COVID-19.
The email also said that the “timed out” players will not be required to take the PCR coronavirus tests at tournament sites for three months after their original onset of symptoms. It does remain to be seen, however, how the change in policy could impact next week’s PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. The PGA of America said in a statement last week that it is continuing to review this particular situation and is discussing with its medical advisors as well as the tour, while taking into account the most recent CDC guidelines. Frittelli and English have qualified for the PGA.