Golf

Adam Scott has doubts over PGA safety plan, skipping June events

From golfer Adam Scott's perspective, the new rules established by the PGA to keep players safe and healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic aren't enough.

Pro golfer critical of testing methods, others cite concerns over quarantine rules

Adam Scott, seen above during the first round of The Players Championship in March before the season was put on pause, says he will be skipping June events in the United States when the golf season resumes. (Lynne Sladky/The Associated Press)

Adam Scott, like all PGA Tour professionals, must measure his personal risk before returning to the golf course for scheduled events. And for now, Scott's decision is to stay away from tournaments.

From Scott's perspective, the new rules established by the PGA to keep players safe and healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic aren't enough.

"They are being fairly thorough, but my initial reaction was I was surprised it wasn't tighter than it is," Scott told the Australian Associated Press. "What concerns me is dialogue that [the Tour] is hopeful of returning one- or two-hour test. You'd want that in place before competing."

He said he will not play the first six events back, the first of which is scheduled to start June 11 at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. Scott said he is likely to resume his season in late July at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational before playing the PGA Championship.

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Earlier this week, long-time pro Lee Westwood from the United Kingdom also indicated he will be skipping upcoming dates on the PGA schedule because of the quarantine rules in place for international travellers arriving in the United States. 

"Right now, I won't be playing them," Westwood said in an interview with the Golf Channel. "Not with having to leave here two weeks before, quarantine, then play the two tournaments, then come back here and quarantine again. It's six weeks for two tournaments, and to me, that's just not worth it.

As per ESPN, fellow British golfer Tommy Fleetwood expressed similar concerns over travelling to the U.S. and the amount of time it would require away from his family. 

Too risky for Scott

Meanwhile, Scott was critical of the protocol established by the PGA Tour to use nasal swab/saliva tests for players and their caddies, plus PGA Tour and tournament officials, while screening others on site at tournaments only with thermal readings and questions about medical history.

"An asymptomatic person could operate within a tournament," he said. "If they're not showing symptoms, and I somehow picked it up inside the course, and I'm disqualified, I'm now self-isolating [in that city] for two weeks. I'd be annoyed if that happened."

Scott, 39, has 14 PGA Tour victories, including The Genesis Invitational this year before play was suspended.

With files from CBC Sports and ESPN

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