Graeme McDowell (file pic). Oisin Keniry/INPHO
Out of bounds

Graeme McDowell withdraws from Travelers Championship after caddie tests positive for Covid-19

The Portrush man has stood down following Ken Comboy’s test.

GRAEME MCDOWELL HAS withdrawn from this week’s Travelers Championship after his caddie tested positive for Covid-19.

The Portrush native received news that his long-time caddie, Ken Comboy, had contracted coronavirus ahead of the event in Connecticut, and confirmed his withdrawal to Golfweek last night.

“For the protection of the field and for my own physical and mental well-being, I’m going to take a test tomorrow morning then jump on a private plane,” he told Eamon Lynch.

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

Comboy returned a positive test on Tuesday, while 40-year-old McDowell tested negative on Monday and has shown no symptoms. 

“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,” McDowell said, detailing how he felt slightly fatigued last week after the return to golf and attending a friend’s funeral with Comboy.

“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.”

“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,” the 2010 US Open champion added.

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

“I’m just uncomfortable being here.”

McDowell — the second player to withdraw from the tournament after Cameron Champ — does not expect to play again until at least the Workday Charity Open in Ohio in two weeks.

American golfer Champ tested positive for the virus during pre-tournament screening at the event, which starts on Thursday, while Nick Watney returned a positive test at last week’s RBC Heritage tournament — the meet which marked the sport’s return.

The PGA Tour is expected to announce results from its full pre-tournament screening programme later today amidst rising fears over the spread of the virus within golf.

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