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Watney's Covid test came after he had shared putting green with Rory McIlroy

The 39-year-old American fell ill yesterday.

McIlroy at yesterday's second round.
McIlroy at yesterday's second round.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

RORY MCILROY, HAS said that American golfer, Nick Watney, called to tell him he had tested positive for Covid-19, after the pair had spoken during a practice session.

Watney fell ill on Friday during the second round of the RBC Heritage in Hilton, South Carolina and thus became the first PGA golfer to test positive for Coronavirus. Prior to commencing his round, he had spoken with McIlroy on the putting green.

“As soon as I finished my round, I looked at my phone, and there was a text from Nick,” McIlroy said. “He was just saying, ‘look, I hope I didn’t get too close to you’. He feels badly that he was here today at the course.

“I said, ‘look, it’s fine, you never know. If I was in your position, I probably would have been here too. You just have to concentrate on getting better and getting healthy’. I think he just wanted to tell me personally instead of, obviously, having to read it through the news. So I appreciate that. Look, the consensus was someone is going to get it at some point, and Nick’s the one and he’s self-isolating and doing what he has to, it’s a shame, but the show goes on. We’ve got 36 holes to play.”

McIlroy continued: “It sucks for him especially. You know, if you contract it, that’s fine, but then it’s the fact that who have you come into contact with, and who you might have exposed and stuff. Look, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. Until this thing’s over, we all just have to stay vigilant and keep your distance and wear our masks if we’re going out in public and keep washing our hands.”

The Ulsterman was certain some PGA player was going to get the coronavirus. 

“Look, by the end of the year, there’s going to be 200,000 deaths in the U.S. alone from Covid-19,” McIlroy said. “So to think that us on the PGA Tour, none of us were going to get it was very – I don’t think anyone thought that. I think the consensus was someone is going to get it at some point.”

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Garry Doyle

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