McCarthy tests positive, WDs from Travelers

CROMWELL, Conn. — Denny McCarthy on Friday told the Golf Channel that he tested positive for the coronavirus and has withdrawn from the Travelers Championship, becoming the sixth player to pull out of this week’s field.

McCarthy, who shot 3-under 67 in the first round of the event, withdrew before Friday’s second round. He was paired with Matt Wallace and Bud Cauley and would have opened the second round near the cut line.

Earlier this week, five players withdrew. Cameron Champ revealed he had tested positive for the virus. Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell both pulled out after their caddies tested positive. Chase Koepka, Brooks’ brother who gained entry into the event as a Monday qualifier, also withdrew out of caution. Webb Simpson did the same after finding out a member of his family had tested positive for coronavirus.

Last week at the RBC Heritage, the Tour’s second event back after a three-month shutdown, Nick Watney became the first player to test positive for the virus.

Commissioner Jay Monahan on Wednesday said the Tour would be implementing what he called stricter protocols and increased testing. He also stressed there would be “serious repercussions” for anyone who did not adhere to the policies.

“It’s pretty clear that this virus isn’t going anywhere,” Monahan said.

Among the changes were an added test for players who take the tour-arranged charter flight between events; that instructors permitted on site would be subject to the same testing as the players; that the tour’s fitness trailer would move on-site beginning next week; and players who test positive and are required to self-isolate would need to follow these protocols to receive a tour-issued stipend.

“All of us have an extraordinary responsibility to follow those protocols,” Monahan said. “For any individual that does not, there will be serious repercussions.

“But everybody knows and needs to know that our future, our ability to sustain this business and to impact the communities where we play and to create so many jobs is contingent on our ability to follow those protocols. So when we have instances where someone hasn’t, they will be dealt with. And as I said, the consequences will be significant.”

On Thursday, Rory McIlroy said that despite the increased number of positive tests, he felt the Tour made the right decision to move forward with the event.

“I think people — you hear one or two positive tests and people are panicking, and I saw a couple of calls to shut the tournament down, which is silly from my point of view,” McIlroy said. “You know, I thought [Monahan] did a really good job explaining. There’s been almost 3,000 tests administered. The percentage of positive tests is under — it’s a quarter of a percent. I think as a whole, it’s been going really well. There’s a couple of loose ends that we needed to tidy up, and I think we’ve done that.”