FILE - In this June 23, 2019, file photo, Chez Reavie hits off the first tee during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament in Cromwell, Conn. The PGA Tour heads north to Connecticut with another strong field. The Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands has attracted nine of the top 10 players in the world. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

PGA Tour Getting Stricter with Protocols

The PGA Tour announced stricter COVID-19 protocols following three positive tests at the Traveler’s Championship. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said tougher protocols could result in “serious repercussions” for offenders.

Cameron Champ and caddies Ricky Elliott and Ken Comboy have tested positive since arriving at TPC River Highlands. Nick Watney tested positive Friday at the RBC Heritage.

Golfers Opting Out

Five golfers have opted out of the Traveler’s Championship so far. The latest to drop are Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson. Koepka dropped after his caddie tested positive for COVID-19. He said opting out will help protect others.

“I haven’t tested positive for COVID-19, but as I’ve said all along, I’m taking this very seriously,” Koepka wrote in a statement posted to his Instagram account. “I don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize the health of any player in the field or his ability to compete.”

Champ is the only one opting out that has actually tested positive for the virus.

Despite rising COVID-19 cases, the PGA Tour is insisting to go as plan with its schedule. However, no fans will be present at the tournament.

“I think we all need to remind ourselves that we’re all learning to live with this virus and we all need to learn to live with this virus, both as individuals, as family members and certainly within our businesses. It’s pretty clear that this virus isn’t going anywhere,” Monahan said per CNN.

The PGA Tour assured fans that social distancing is adhered to. Those involved must follow other safety protocols that are in place.

Penalties for Breaking Protocol

Because social distancing has been ignored on the golf course, penalties are being levied. Speculation from sources states that the penalties will likely be fines rather than suspensions from play. However, suspensions could happen if offenses are too severe or if there are repeat offenders. Health is crucial during these times, after all.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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