By Joel Beall
Branden Grace was in a tie for second at the beginning of Saturday at the Barracuda Championship. But Grace is no longer listed in the field, having to withdraw from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19.
In a statement, Grace said he began feeling tired last night and reported his symptoms to the tour. He discovered he had the virus after getting tested Saturday morning.
“I wanted to get tested out of respect for my peers and everyone involved with the tournament,” Grace said. “While it is unfortunate given my position on the leaderboard, the most important thing is our health.”
It is a tough break in multiple ways for Grace. There is the obvious: the South African, who has not won on tour since 2016, was among the leaders at the alternate event in Truckee, Calif. Given Grace is 156th in the FedEx Cup, he was in desperate need of a strong finish.
Worse, the positive test knocks him out of next week’s PGA Championship, a major where Grace owns two top-four finishes in.
Grace is the eighth player on tour to test positive for COVID-19. Per tour protocols, he must self-isolate for 10 days.