Harris English withdraws from Rocket Mortgage Classic after testing positive for COVID-19

Yahoo Sports

Harris English tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday and withdrew from the Rocket Mortgage Classic, making him the fifth golfer on the PGA Tour to contract the virus since play resumed.

English, the Tour announced on Monday morning, was tested as part of the pre-tournament screening process upon arrival at Detroit Golf Club. He didn’t compete last week at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, and is now in self-isolation.

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“While it’s disappointing to receive this news, as I feel healthy, I’m pleased that the new safety protocols we have in place worked this week,” English said in a statement. “I fully supported the Tour’s new rule of not allowing anyone on the tournament grounds until testing negative, as protecting others in the field and everyone affiliated with the tournament and the community should be the No. 1 priority as a result of a positive test. I appreciate the Tour’s support and I look forward to competing again after I’m fully recovered.”

The 30-year-old has two career wins on Tour, most recently at the 2013 OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He’s got five top-10 finishes so far this season, and finished T17 at the RBC Heritage earlier this month.

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English joins a growing list of people in the golf world to have tested positive. Dylan Frittelli tested positive on Sunday, and also withdrew from the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Cameron Champ and Denny McCarthy, along with caddies for Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell also tested positive in Connecticut. 

Nick Watney tested positive at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina two weeks ago, marking the first case on Tour since golf resumed.

There were more than 2.5 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Monday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and nearly 126,000 deaths attributed to it. Michigan had more than 70,000 confirmed cases.

The PGA Tour has implemented a new policy following the multiple positive cases, and now requires that players test negative before being allowed on course grounds. 

“While we’ve been thorough in building and implementing a program that mitigates as much risk as possible, we knew it would be impossible to eliminate all risk, as evidenced by the three positive tests this week,” commissioner Jay Monahan said before the first round of the Travelers Championship. “We need to use these developments as a stark reminder for everyone involved as we continue to learn from an operational standpoint.

“We’re making several adjustments to our health and safety plan as noted in the memo sent to players this morning, and we will continuously reinforce to all players, caddies, staff members and support personnel on property at PGA Tour events to adhere to social distancing and other safety professionals that further minimize risk.”

Harris English is now the fifth PGA Tour golfer to contract the coronavirus since play resumed. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Harris English is now the fifth PGA Tour golfer to contract the coronavirus since play resumed. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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