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PGA Tour to require golfers' COVID-19 tests for June return

PGA Tour to require golfers' COVID-19 tests for June return
Brooks Koepka (R) and other star golfers will be required to take tests for the coronavirus if they want to participate in tournaments when the PGA Tour resumes in June. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 13 (UPI) -- The PGA Tour will require golfers to be tested for the coronavirus before they are allowed to participate in the Charles Schwab Challenge from June 11 to 14 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

The tournament will mark the return of the PGA Tour season after it was suspended in March due to the pandemic. No spectators will be allowed on the course for at least the next four PGA Tour events. Golf Digest, Golfweek and ESPN obtained a 37-page document from the PGA Tour that had been given to players.

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Testing protocols include a questionnaire, thermal reading and nasal swab or saliva test. Caddies and players will be screened before they travel, when they arrive in Fort Worth and during the tournament.

Nasal swab test results will take 24 to 48 hours. Players will be allowed to practice or play on-site -- but have no access to course facilities -- while they await the results.

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If a player tests positive, he will be required to self-isolate for at least 10 days or have two negative tests results at least 24 hours apart. Caddies or players who test positive will not be allowed to participate in tournaments. If a player tests positive after he makes the cut, he will receive money for a last-place finish.

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Caddies will be required to wipe off flag sticks and bunker rakes. The PGA Tour will provide disinfectant wipes and masks for all personnel.

PGA Tour staff, media, security and player relations, tournament staff, player and caddie services and others will also be tested at each event. Clubhouse access will be limited to those who test negative for the coronavirus. Family, agents and managers will not be allowed on site.

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The PGA Tour plans to provide charter flights between events for players and caddies, with a limit of 170 players and caddies allowed. PGA Tour players will be charged $600 per seat, while caddies will pay $300 per seat.

The RBC Heritage will follow the Charles Schwab Challenge. The second tournament of the PGA Tour's return will be played from June 18 to 21 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

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