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COVID-19: Brooks Koepka, Graeme McDowell to withdraw from PGA tournament

Graeme McDowell tees off at No. 16 during the first round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament on June 18, 2020.
Graeme McDowell tees off at No. 16 during the first round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament last week.
(Gerry Broome / Associated Press)

The caddies for Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell have tested positive for the coronavirus, and McDowell withdrew Wednesday from the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

McDowell said Koepka also was planning to withdraw, though the four-time major champion remained in the field early Wednesday afternoon.

“The snowball is getting a little bit bigger,” McDowell said as he began the 1,200-mile drive from the TPC River Highlands to his home in Orlando, Florida.

McDowell tested negative, though he suspects he has the virus and decided to drive home to start his self-isolation. He said Ricky Elliott, a longtime friend from Northern Ireland and Koepka’s caddie, received a positive result.

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Cameron Champ tested positive on Tuesday, the second player to test positive in the last five days. Still to come are results from all players, caddies and essential personnel at the Travelers Championship, the third tournament since the PGA Tour ended its three-month shutdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

McDowell played a practice round Tuesday with Koepka and British Open champion Shane Lowry. McDowell said he heard from Lowry, whose test was negative.

“The problem is, people are out here passing tests when they could still have the virus,” McDowell said. “That’s what we’re learning. Ricky passed a test on Monday and he just failed it this morning.”

McDowell’s caddie, Ken Comboy, never made it to Connecticut. McDowell missed the cut last week at the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He felt a sore throat and reported it on the daily questionnaire, and then Comboy drove back to Hilton Head from Orlando to take another test. That was the quickest way to get the results, and he received them Tuesday night while waiting to fly.

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McDowell says he was at a memorial service on June 15 with Comboy, Elliott and McDowell’s trainer, after which they drove up to Hilton Head.

MLB players test positive

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said a few players have tested positive for COVID-19. Dipoto declined to specify the number of players or if they are part of Seattle’s 40-man roster. Dipoto said they have all been asymptomatic.

“With the cases popping up, especially in some of the hot spots around the country, we have had a few players test positive,” Dipoto said. “Right now they’re asymptomatic, they feel great, but we are aware that they’re positive.”

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The Mariners expect players to begin arriving this weekend in Seattle for workouts leading into the start of the season in late July. Some players had been working out at the team’s spring training facility in Peoria, Arizona, but Dipoto did not specify where the players that had the positive tests were located.

A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that several players and staff members of the Toronto Blue Jays have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The person confirmed the test results to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because there was no official announcement but did not specify a number. “We aren’t confirming names or numbers for positive tests,” the person said.

The Blue Jays closed their training facility last Friday in Dunedin, Florida, after a player showed symptoms consistent with the virus.

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Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila says one player and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19.

Avila said on a video conference that the player was living in Florida, but was not working out at the team’s spring training facilities in Lakeland. He did not identify the two people who tested positive.


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