COVID forces 7 of the world’s best golfers to withdraw from the British Open.
On Monday, former golf champion Zach Johnson became the latest player to withdraw from the British Open due to a positive coronavirus test.
Louis de Jager is also on the list, as one of 12 players who qualified for the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews through local final qualifying. According to the R&A, player Ryan Moore, who finished second at the John Deere Classic in Illinois, declined the exemption for the highest finisher among the top five players at the PGA Tour tournament.
In total, 16 players have pulled out or declined to compete in the 149th edition of golf’s oldest championship tournament.
Due of the epidemic, the British Open was the only big event that was canceled last year. Though it has returned this year, it is subject to severe government and R&A controls, such as prohibiting players from staying with anyone outside their limited circle of people.
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Johnson, who won in a playoff at St. Andrews in 2015, was in town for the John Deere Classic and had to undergo testing before boarding a charter flight. He did not play with any other player at the British Open in the third or fourth rounds.
Adam Long of the United States, Sam Horsfield of England, and Dylan Frittelli of South Africa were the most recent players to withdraw.
Seven of the top 75 players in the world are already absent from the field, which is unprecedented for a major.
Some didn’t have an option. Hideki Matsuyama, the Masters champion, was the highest-ranked player to withdraw, at No. 18. He tested positive for COVID-19 on July 2 during the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and despite going through ten days of self-isolation without symptoms, his tests continue to come back positive.
Positive tests were an issue on the PGA Tour a year ago. PCR tests can detect virus remains even if the infection is no longer active, according to US health officials. Matsuyama, on the other hand, would be required to provide a negative test under UK criteria.
Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion, withdrew after coming into touch with someone who had a positive COVID-19 test. In accordance with the R&A criteria. This is a condensed version of the information.