While the PGA Tour did not register a single positive coronavirus test upon its return at Colonial, its developmental circuit was not as fortuitous. One player and three caddies on the Korn Ferry Tour had to withdraw from its season re-opening event due to COVID-19 concerns.
Due to medical confidentiality restrictions, the tour will not release the names of those who tested positive. However, a source familiar with the tour’s testing told Golf Digest that, due to travel restrictions and the general carousel nature of caddie employment on the Korn Ferry Tour, many players have sought temporary loopers or friends in the area to grab their bags this week, alluding that the caddies that tested positive weren’t necessarily full-time caddies.
The PGA Tour announced on Wednesday it conducted nearly 1,600 tests for the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Korn Ferry Challenge at tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The tests were administered at both home and tournament venues, with nearly 900 tests coming at tournament sites. The player and caddies that tested positive for coronavirus came through home results.
Those that tested positive were told to self-isolate for at least 10 days, and need to have two negative test results at least 24 hours apart before returning to tour action.
One of the big questions the tour faces in its return is what number of positive tests constitute a critical mass for the tour. A single test would not be enough to deter the tournament from continuing, said senior vice-president of tournament administration Andy Levinson last month, and there’s not a specific number of positive tests the tour has in mind that would enact a cancellation.
“You know, when there is a positive test, there does have to be some contact tracing that takes place, which is why social distancing is – one of the many reasons why social distancing is so important,” Levinson said. “And so we haven’t identified a specific number, but obviously if it was a large number then we would have to evaluate the situation.”