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Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from this week’s Travelers Championship after his caddie tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a Golfweek report, the four-time major champion’s bagman, Ricky Elliott, tested positive for coronavirus at TPC River Highlands this morning. He had reportedly tested negative just 48 hours earlier upon arrival at the tournament.

Koepka revealed that he was pulling out as he didn’t want to endanger anybody else on-site at this week’s event – just the third to be played since the PGA Tour emerged from its three-month coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” he told Golfweek. “I don’t want to risk anyone’s life if they have respiratory issues or underlying conditions. The only way this tour can continue is if guys to do this sort of thing and be pro-active about it.”

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Koepka revealed that he, Elliott and his coach Claude Harmon had gone for further tests after learning that Graeme McDowell’s caddie had tested positive for the disease on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, Koepka, along with his younger brother Chase and Open champion Shane Lowry, had played a practice round with McDowell. 

Both Koepka and Harmon returned negative results but Elliott tested positive.

“Ricky has my full support in this,” added Koepka. “I feel bad for him. We have got to do everything we can to not spread it. We have to protect the field. That’s the reason we have these rules.”

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The news is a fresh blow to the PGA Tour, which saw Nick Watney withdraw from last week’s RBC Heritage ahead of the second round after testing positive for the disease. Yesterday at the Travelers Championship, Cameron Champ became the second player to return a positive test shortly before McDowell withdrew from the event following his caddie, Ken Comboy, discovering he too has the condition.

Earlier today, the PGA Tour announced plans to distribute 1,000 of the WHOOP health-tracker devices among its players and officials. It was one such device that first alerted Watney to the possibility that he had contracted COVID-19 last week.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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