By Joel Beall
CROMWELL, Conn. — Two more players have withdrawn from the Travelers Championship due to COVID-19 issues.
Denny McCarthy and Bud Cauley reported symptoms to the PGA Tour on Friday morning, sources told Golf Digest. Per tour protocols, reporting symptoms requires the administration of further COVID-19 testing. McCarthy confirmed in a statement that he had tested positive.
“I was feeling pretty tired and sore after the round yesterday but didn’t think much of it because I had practiced a lot Monday to Wednesday,” McCarthy said. “Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night with additional aches and soreness and sensed something was off. I felt like the only thing to do was get tested at that point before I went to the course.”
Cauley did not test positive, but stated he was withdrawing out of caution.
“I’m very thankful I have tested negative but have decided to withdraw out of an abundance of caution for my peers and everyone involved with the tournament,” Cauley said.
McCarthy and Cauley played together in the first round of the Travelers on Thursday. McCarthy had shot a three-under 67 in the opening round while Cauley turned in a one-under 69. According to health officials, symptoms tend to appear two to 14 days after exposure, so it’s unlikely the pair’s round together was the source of infection. Matthew Binnicker, director of clinical virology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., says that the golf course is also believed to be an unlikely source of transmission.
The third member of the group, Matt Wallace, remains in the tournament, and will play on Friday at TPC River Highlands as a single.
McCarthy and Cauley are the sixth and seventh players to withdraw this week from the Travelers with coronavirus-related concerns. Cameron Champ tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, while Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell bowed out after their caddies contracted the virus. Webb Simpson withdrew after one of his family members tested COVID-19 positive, and Chase Koepka withdrew due to an “abundance of caution.” Last week, Nick Watney became the first player to test COVID-19 positive in the tour’s return from the pandemic.
In a statement, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said McCarthy has the full support of the tour.
“I know I speak for the entire tour membership in thanking him for doing the right thing in requesting an additional test before heading to the golf course today,” Monahan said. “What Denny, Bud and others are demonstrating is exactly what we asked of everyone—continue to do your part in taking this virus seriously and keeping not only your own health as a priority, but also that of your fellow competitors and those you may come in contact with. Today’s update again demonstrates our rigorous and quick testing, contact tracing capabilities and overall healthy and safety protocols. We will continue to liaise directly with local and state government and health officials this week and throughout our return to golf.”