The European Tour has announced that American pro John Catlin and his caddie Nathan Mulrooney have been withdrawn from this week’s English Championship at Hanbury Manor following a breach of the tour's COVID-19 protocol.
The duo visited a local restaurant on the evening of Tuesday, August 4, which was outside of the tournament 'bubble', compromising the tour’s health guidelines.
European Tour officials acted swiftly to disqualify them from the tournament with immediate effect as a result.
In a statement, Catlin said: “I apologise to my fellow players and everyone involved with the tournament this week for this error of judgement. I understand the European Tour’s decision and accept the sanction.”
He has been replaced in the tournament by South African Wilco Nienaber.
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This week's English Championship is only the third full European Tour event since coronavirus lockdown restrictions began to ease. It forms part of the 'UK Swing' of golf tournaments that has been impressively assembled by the tour at short notice.
Along with Formula 1, the European Tour is the only international sports circuit currently approved by the UK government.
Ahead of its return, the tour published a stringent set of safety and testing protocols in its comprehensive 'Health Strategy', which continues to evolve, aligned with international government guidance and health guidelines.
Catlin, 29, is in his second season on the European Tour. The Californian turned pro in 2013 and, until he got his card in 2019, he played primarily in Asia.