The five-time PGA TOUR winner, Nick Watney became the first player on the PGA TOUR to test positive for COVID-19 and had to withdraw before the second round of RBC Heritage after learning of his positive test on Friday.
Watney, 39, tested negative before the start of the tournament and shot a 3-over 74 on Thursday while being paired with Vaughn Taylor and Luke List.
A statement from the PGA TOUR said, “prior to arriving at the tournament” on Friday, Watney “indicated he had symptoms consistent with the illness.”
While waiting for the test results, Brooks Koepka said he stood near Watney in the parking lot, another player, Si Woo Kim, said he passed him on the driving range.
World No.1, Rory McIlroy, who just made inside the cut-line with a 7-under 65 on Friday, said, he received a text message from Watney, informing him of testing positive for the coronavirus.
“He feels badly that he was here today at the golf course,” McIlroy said. “I said, look, it’s fine. You never know. So I said to him, if I was in your position, I probably would have been here, too. Look, at this point, you just have to concentrate on getting better and getting healthy.
“It sucks for him especially. If you contact it, that’s fine, but then it’s the fact that who have you come into contact with and who you might have exposed. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic. Until this thing’s over, we all just have to stay vigilant and keep your distance and wear our masks if we’re going out in public and keep washing our hands.”
It was unclear if Watney had a COVID-19 test at the course or at local accommodations. He had symptoms consistent with the virus, consulted with a physician and, after taking a test, was found to be positive, according to a PGA Tour release.