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Graeme McDowell WDs; caddie tests positive for COVID-19



The coronavirus outbreak on the PGA Tour that claimed Nick Watney last week and Cameron Champ this week, has claimed another player — one who hasn’t even tested positive.

Graeme McDowell has told Golfweek exclusively that he will withdraw from the Travelers Championship on Wednesday morning after receiving news that his longtime caddie, Ken Comboy, tested positive for COVID-19.

“For the protection of the field and for my own physical and mental well-being, I’m going to take a test tomorrow morning then jump on a private plane,” McDowell said Tuesday night. “I’m going to get myself out of here, home to Florida and decide whether I need to quarantine myself from my family.”

Comboy suspects he may have been exposed to the virus after the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas two weeks ago. McDowell’s private plane was too small for his party, so his longtime bagman took a commercial flight to Orlando that he described as “packed” with passengers. On Monday, he and McDowell attended the funeral of a friend, then drove to Hilton Head, S.C. for the RBC Classic.

On Thursday, Comboy said he had a mild sore throat and went to bed early. After missing the cut Friday morning, the pair drove home to Orlando that afternoon with McDowell’s trainer, a six-hour journey.

On Saturday morning, Comboy reported his lingering sore throat in a daily questionnaire players and caddies receive from the Tour. A doctor called him soon afterward and advised a test. McDowell said his caddie drove back to Hilton Head on Saturday night to be tested at the Tour facility the following morning. A positive result came back Tuesday afternoon. The only other symptom Comboy has developed is losing his sense of smell, which manifested yesterday. He had not traveled to Connecticut for the Travelers and is quarantining in Orlando.

McDowell himself tested negative on Monday and has shown no symptoms. He felt slightly fatigued last week in Hilton Head but attributed that to resuming golf and the aftermath of a friend’s funeral.

“I’d been through a huge amount emotionally and mentally, and a couple of weeks back into it after a few months off you’re going to be a little tired getting your golf legs back,” he said. “But the alarm bells have started to ring now that Kenny has failed this test.

“We’re a close-knit team. We roomed together last week, we spent six hours in a car. He’s carrying the virus so in some way I have to be carrying it too.”

McDowell has informed the Tour who he was in close proximity to while at the Travelers. That includes a Tuesday practice round at TPC River Highlands in the company of Brooks Koepka, his brother Chase, and Shane Lowry. Koepka, his caddie Ricky Elliott and coach Claude Harmon III plan to get retested early Wednesday morning as a precaution.

“I think we’re trying to do our best out here to mitigate the risk but at the end of the day it’s impossible to mitigate 100% of the risk,” McDowell said. “The bubble is speculative at best. It’s hard for the Tour, even with all their resources, to control everyone all the time.”

Despite his negative test, the 2010 U.S. Open champion said his immediate priority was to protect other players and caddies in Hartford. “I’m just uncomfortable being here,” he said.

The Tour had advised him to get tested every 48 hours. He said he does not expect to play again until at least the Workday Charity Open in Ohio in two weeks.



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Adrian Woody
Adrian Woody Author
Contributor At Industry News Blog

Having the apt skills to play with words to put forth various updates and news relating to the field of technology in an interesting way has made Adrian is a contributor in our organization. He is dedicated to writing articles related to all the up-to-the-minute inventions, launches, updates, and much more happening in the world of technology. In his free time, Adrian offers a guest lecture to kids about the latest inventions.

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