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Italian duo Edoardo Molinari and Lorenzo Gagli have hit out at the European Tour’s decision to withdraw them from this week’s Oman Open over fears that they may have the coronavirus.

The pair were approached by a doctor from the European Tour on Wednesday, who informed them of the news – a decision described by Gagli as “inexplicable”.

“Only us two have been excluded from the tournament but I arrived in Muscat last Sunday and over the last few days I’ve worked out in the gym with dozens of other players,” the 34-year-old told Italian newspaper La Nazione.

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“I ate with them and travelled by bus with them. If there was a risk of contagion, then they would have to isolate dozens of golfers and cancel the tournament.”

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Molinari, a three-time European Tour winner and the older brother of 2018 Open champion Francesco, echoed his compatriot’s sentiments.

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The coronavirus has caused the cancellation of several golf tournaments, including the Volvo China Open. However, this is the first instance of players being withdrawn from a tournament.

Italy has suffered a significant outbreak of the virus in the last few weeks, with more than 400 confirmed cases – the most of any country outside 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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