Four more PGA Tour players have withdrawn from the Travelers Championship after two caddies tested positive for COVID-19.
The PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced four-time major winner Brooks Koepka, Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell, and Chase Koepka withdrew on Wednesday.
The announcement came just a day before the first round of the tournament at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.
The caddies for Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell tested positive for coronavirus, Monahan said. Both players withdrew out of an abundance of caution.
Koepka tweeted a statement Wednesday afternoon about his caddie, Ricky Elliot, and his decision to withdraw from the tournament.
"I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize the health of any player in the field or his ability to compete," Koepka said. "The right thing to do now is get home, support Ricky and feel confident that I'm doing what I can do protecting my fellow TOUR members, my PGA TOUR friends, and everyone associated with the Travelers Championship this week."
McDowell said he has had two negative tests this week, but that he has not been feeling well.
“When I look at the last four to five days, I have experienced some fatigue and muscle soreness myself,” said McDowell. “I didn’t think of it as COVID related, but rather just the effect of being back on the road, back practicing, back playing and just a little tired after having a few months off. But now that Kenny has tested positive – and we’ve spent a lot of time together the last 10 days – I have to take those symptoms more seriously. That is why I am withdrawing this week. I want to do the responsible thing."
Simpson tested negative twice this week but withdrew out of an abundance of caution, according to Monahan. Simpson, who won last week's RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina, said a family member has tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours. He said he planned to return to his home in North Carolina and self-quarantine under CDC guidelines.
Chase Koepka, brother of Brooks Koepka, also withdrew out of an abundance of caution, Monahan said. Chase was a Monday qualifier for the tournament.
He said he and his caddie both tested negative for COVID-19 but he played a practice round with his brother and McDowell, so he was in close contact with their caddies, who both tested positive. That is why he made the decision to withdraw.
"I feel as if this is the best decision to keep all other players, caddies and volunteers safe. I wish everyone the best of luck this week,” Chase Koepka said.
Monahan said the PGA Tour has done more than 2,700 COVID tests on players, caddies, tour staff, and others since the tour resumed it's schedule three weeks ago in Forth Worth, Texas. There have been seven positive tests in that time.
PGA Tour player Nick Watney tested positive at last week's RBC Heritage and withdrew on Friday.
The Travelers Championship is the third tournament to be played since the tour suspended its schedule in March.