Every avid golf fan is excited to have the PGA tour back! There is nothing like seeing the world’s best golfers attack Sunday pin placements with reckless abandonment for the chance to win the week’s tournament. 

Absent from the season’s restart has been the victory red shirt famously worn on Sunday’s by Tiger Woods, however, most of the top-ranked golfers have been playing. 

This week’s Travelers Championship will be missing two of the sports top-ranked and major stars.

Brooks Koepka, Webb Simpson, and three other players due to COVID-19.

Koepka, the four-time majors champion and ranked number four in the world, and Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion and ranked number five in the world, withdrew from the tournament. 

Although both personal tests came back negative, Koepka withdrew due to his caddie, Ricky Elliot, testing positive while Simpson withdrew due to contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

Koepka’s brother Chase, who earned a spot in the Travelers Championship on Monday after advancing through a qualifying event playoff, also withdrew out of caution. 

Cameron Champ also withdrew after a positive COVID-19 test. He is the only golfer to test positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Travelers Championship.

Lastly, Graeme McDowell also withdrew after learning his caddie, Ken Comboy, tested positive. 

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

 “The right thing to do right now is get home, support Ricky and feel confident that I’m doing what I can do protecting my fellow Tour members, my PGA Tour friends and everyone associated with the Travelers Championship this week.”

Webb Simpson released a similar statement. “In the last 24 hours, I had a family member test positive for COVID-19. While my tests this week were negative, I feel like it is my responsibility to take care of my family and protect my peers in the field by withdrawing from the Travelers Championship,” he said. “I am going to return home to Charlotte and quarantine under CDC guidelines, and I look forward to returning to competition after that time period.”

The PGA and it’s players have taken the health and safety of all incredibly seriously. This act of responsibility will ensure we get to enjoy golf this season.

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