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The European Tour has announced that American pro John Catlin and his caddie Nathan Mulrooney have been withdrawn from this week’s English Championship at Hanbury Manor following a breach of the tour’s COVID-19 protocol.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.

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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.

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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. 


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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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