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Nick Watney becomes first player on PGA Tour to test positive for coronavirus

Nick Watney (pictured) played the first round of the RBC Heritage with Vaughn Taylor and Luke List, who won last week's Korn Ferry Tour event. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/c56a30b6a7f9f694c5bce58629d364e5/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Nick Watney (pictured) played the first round of the RBC Heritage with Vaughn Taylor and Luke List, who won last week's Korn Ferry Tour event. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 19 (UPI) -- Nick Watney withdrew from the RBC Heritage before his Friday tee time after becoming the first player on the PGA Tour to test positive for the coronavirus since golf resumed this month.

Watney, 39, indicated before arriving at the course for the second round of play that he had symptoms consistent with the virus. According to the Tour, he consulted with a physician and was given a COVID-19 test, which came back positive.

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"Nick will have the PGA Tour's full support throughout his self-isolation and recovery period under CDC guidelines," the Tour said in its statement. "For the health and well-being of all associated with the tournament and those within the community, the Tour has begun implementing its response plan in consultation with medical experts including working with those who may have had close contact with Nick."

Watney -- a five-time winner on the PGA Tour -- traveled privately to the Hilton Head, S.C., tournament, according to the Tour. He wasn't on the Tour-sponsored charter flight from last week's Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, meaning he was tested upon arrival earlier this week and was negative for the virus.

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A total of 369 players, caddies and other essential personnel underwent testing at the site before the start of the RBC Heritage with no positive results, according to the Tour. Over the past two weeks since the PGA Tour's return from a 13-week hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, there had been 954 tests without a positive result.

On Thursday, Watney played the first round with Vaughn Taylor and Luke List, who won last week's Korn Ferry Tour event. The Korn Ferry Tour recorded two positive tests -- both caddies -- ahead of this week's The King & Bear Classic in St. Augustine, Fla. Last week, three caddies and one player on that Tour tested positive.

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