Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson are among five players who have withdrawn from the Travelers Championship “out of an abundance of caution” related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cameron Champ withdrew on Tuesday after a positive test and Graeme McDowell withdrew on Tuesday evening following a positive test for his caddie. Nick Watney tested positive last week prior to the second round of the RBC Heritage.
Koepka, winner of four major championships and currently No. 4 in the world rankings, withdrew after his caddie, Ricky Elliott, registered a positive test.
“I’m going to pull out to protect everybody else. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Koepka said on golfweek.com. “I don’t want to risk anyone’s life if they have respiratory issues or underlying conditions. The only way this Tour can continue is if guys to do this sort of thing and be proactive about it.”
Graeme McDowell’s caddie Ken Comboy tested positive and Koepka and Elliott took additional COVID tests after Koepka played a practice round with McDowell earlier on Tuesday.
According to golfweek.com, Elliott joined McDowell and Comboy in Orlando on June 15 for the funeral of a close friend and Comboy believes he may have been exposed to the virus during a commercial flight he took two days earlier on June 13 from DFW to Orlando after the Colonial.
Chase Koepka was a Monday qualifier and he also announced that although he tested negative, he would be a WD out of caution.
Simpson, who won the RBC Heritage last week to move him to No. 5 in the world rankings and No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings, made his decision to WD after a family member tested positive.
“In the last 24 hours, I had a family member test positive for COVID-19. While my tests this week were negative, I feel like it is my responsibility to take care of my family and protect my peers in the field by withdrawing from the Travelers Championship,” Simpson said according to TSN’s Bob Weeks.