Nick Watney's contacts test negative; Justin Thomas calls Hilton Head an 'absolute zoo'

Sporting News

The PGA Tour announced Saturday that 11 people who may have had close contact with Nick Watney tested negative for the coronavirus.

Watney withdrew from the RBC Heritage before the second round on Friday after becoming the first PGA Tour player to test positive for COVID-19.

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka revealed they had both been around Watney, who was at the course while he waited for his results.

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"With Friday's confirmed COVID-19 case of a competitor in the RBC Heritage field, the PGA Tour implemented its response plan in consultation with medical experts including working with those who may have had close contact with Nick Watney," the PGA Tour said in a statement.

"As a result, 11 tests were conducted on Friday with all 11 tests being negative."

The update came as Justin Thomas spoke positively of the PGA Tour's protocols but expressed significant concern about Hilton Head Island as a whole, calling it "an absolute zoo."

Thomas, who shot a 66 in Round 3 and sits at 9 under for the tournament, said: "We have done such a great job these first two weeks, I feel very safe.

"I wouldn't be playing if I didn't. The tour has done all the protocols they can.

"Unfortunately, you can't control guys going to get something to eat or whatever it might be, if you're staying in a hotel or room service or whatever it might be."

The 2017 PGA Championship winner added: "No offense to Hilton Head, but they're seeming to not take it very seriously.

"It's an absolute zoo around here. There are people everywhere. The beaches are absolutely packed, every restaurant, from what I've seen when I've been driving by, is absolutely crowded.

"So I would say it's still no coincidence that there's got to be a lot of stuff going on around here.

"Unfortunately, that's not on Nick because I know he's very cautious and has done everything he can, but I would say a lot of people in this area of Hilton Head just aren't."

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