PGA: RBC Heritage - Second Round

Jun 19, 2020; Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA; Brooks Koepka on the tenth green during the second round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With more players and people associated with the PGA Tour testing positive for COVID-19, commissioner Jay Monahan issued a new set of protocols on Wednesday geared at limiting the spread of the coronavirus around the tour.

Speaking at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. -- site of this week's Travelers Championship -- Monahan said that 2,757 COVID-19 tests have been administered so far between the PGA Tour and the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour, and that seven have returned positive.

"It's a low number, and it's a low number on a percentage basis. But every number hurts," Monahan said. "As we look at where we are now, I think we all need to remind ourselves that we're learning to live with this virus, and we all need to learn to live with this virus -- as individuals, as family members and certainly within our businesses.

"It's pretty clear that this virus isn't going anywhere."

Among the changes that Monahan announced:

--Players who take tour-arranged charter flights between events will have to be tested at the tournament, as players traveling on their own had been doing. The tour will continue to test players on Saturday before they are allowed to board the Monday charter flights.

--Golfing instructors permitted on site and at the driving range will now be required to be tested the same as the players.

--The tour will have its fitness trailer at events beginning next week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit to keep players out of local gyms.

--Stricter monitoring of players and caddie who test positive, requiring them to follow the tour's self-quarantining protocols in order to receive the stipend set aside for self-isolating players and caddies.

"All of us have an extraordinary responsibility to follow those protocols," Monahan said. "For any individual that does not, there will be serious repercussions and I'm not going to get into the specifics of it."

On the PGA Tour, golfer Cameron Champ tested positive this week, as did a pair of caddies: Ricky Elliott, who works for Brooks Koepka, and Ken Comboy, who works for Graeme McDowell. Both Koepka and McDowell both tested negative but both withdrew from the tournament Wednesday.

Webb Simpson -- last week's winner at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, S.C. -- also withdrew after having a family member test positive within the past 24 hours. Chase Koepka, younger brother of Brooks, also pulled out because he played a practice round alongside his brother, McDowell and the two infected caddies.

Nick Watney tested positive last Friday after playing the first round of the RBC Heritage, and he pulled out of the event.

--Field Level Media

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