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Graeme McDowell pulls out of Travelers Championship as caddie tests positive for coronavirus

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Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell

PA

Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell has pulled out of the Travelers Championship after his caddie tested positive for coronavirus.

The Northern Ireland golfer said he had taken the decision as a precaution to the other players as well as for his own mental health and well-being.

Caddie Ken Comboy said he suspected he may have been exposed to the virus at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas a fortnight ago and had taken a "packed" commercial flight before he had McDowell travelled together by car to a funeral on Monday before heading together to Southern Carolina for the RBC Classic.

McDowell told Golfweek he would get a test before heading back to his Florida home on a private plane. He was tested on Monday and got a negative result but felt the time spent with his caddie since has left him at risk.

"I’m just uncomfortable being here,” he said.

“I’m going to get myself out of here, home to Florida and decide whether I need to quarantine myself from my family."

He added: “I’d been through a huge amount emotionally and mentally, and a couple of weeks back into it after a few months off you’re going to be a little tired getting your golf legs back.

“But the alarm bells have started to ring now that Kenny has failed this test.

“We’re a close-knit team. We roomed together last week, we spent six hours in a car. He’s carrying the virus so in some way I have to be carrying it too.”

McDowell played a practice round at TPC River Highlands with Brooks Koepka, his brother Chase, and Shane Lowry.

The Tour has been informed and Koepka, his caddie Ricky Elliott and coach Claude Harmon III plan to get retested as a precaution.

“I think we’re trying to do our best out here to mitigate the risk but at the end of the day it’s impossible to mitigate 100% of the risk,” McDowell said.

“The bubble is speculative at best. It’s hard for the Tour, even with all their resources, to control everyone all the time.”

Belfast Telegraph