Ex-champion out of Open after COVID-19 positive

3 weeks ago 5
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Former champion Zach Johnson tested affirmative for the coronavirus earlier getting connected a charter formation to the British Open, forcing him to articulation the increasing database of withdrawals and ending his streak astatine playing 69 consecutive majors.

The R&A said Johnson, who played successful the John Deere Classic successful Illinois connected Sunday, and section qualifier Louis de Jager of South Africa had affirmative COVID-19 tests and withdrew.

Ryan Moore, runner-up astatine the John Deere Classic, chose not to judge the exemption arsenic the highest finisher among the apical 5 who wasn't already successful the British Open. Instead of the spot going to Luke List, who tied for third, it went to Adam Long arsenic adjacent disposable connected the reserve list.

Johnson, who won the claret jug astatine St Andrews successful 2015 aft a three-way playoff, missed the Masters successful his rookie twelvemonth connected the PGA Tour successful 2004. He played successful each large since past until the British Open.

Zach Johnson plays from the tee during the last circular of the John Deere Classic. (Getty)

Players astatine the John Deere were tested earlier the charter formation to England.

That brings to 16 the fig of players who person withdrawn oregon chosen not to instrumentality their spots successful the tract for the 149th variation of golf's oldest championship.

The British Open was the lone large to beryllium cancelled past twelvemonth due to the fact that of the pandemic. It returns nether strict protocols by the UK government, and immoderate instituted by the R&A, specified arsenic prohibiting players from staying with anyone but their ain tiny halfway of people.

Johnson did not play the 3rd oregon 4th circular with immoderate different subordinate who is astatine the British Open.

The latest players to retreat were replaced by Long, Sam Horsfield of England and Dylan Frittelli of South Africa.

The tract already is missing 7 players from the apical 75 successful the world, antithetic for a major.

Hideki Matsuyama receives his greenish overgarment astatine the Masters. (Nine) (Nine)

Some had nary choice. Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama astatine No.18 was the highest-ranked subordinate to withdraw. He had a affirmative COVID-19 trial connected July 2 during the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and portion helium has gone done 10 days of self-isolation without symptoms, his tests support coming backmost positive.

The PGA Tour had this contented a twelvemonth agone with affirmative tests. US wellness officials said PCR tests tin prime up remnants of the microorganism adjacent though it is nary longer active. But nether UK guidelines, Matsuyama would request to nutrient a antagonistic test.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson said helium came successful interaction with a idiosyncratic who had a affirmative COVID-19 trial and withdrew. Under the R&A requirements sent to players connected June 22, anyone who is identified arsenic a interaction has to self-isolate and beryllium withdrawn.

Other players cited planetary question requirements (Kevin Na) oregon an accent connected preparing alternatively for the Olympics (Sungjae Im, Siwoo Kim, Juvic Pagunsan). The men's contention successful the Tokyo Olympics starts 11 days aft the British Open ends.

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