In case your physique clock depends upon golf tournaments to maintain monitor of the time of 12 months, the Masters being performed in November seemingly has you method out of whack.
However that is what the COVID-19 pandemic has completed to the sports activities world, placing a number of the most celebrated occasions at occasions they’ve by no means been performed earlier than. The coronavirus is much from gone, having already induced a number of withdrawals from the Masters. COVID-19 hit a number of the world’s high gamers earlier within the resumed PGA Tour season, too.
The Masters gives essentially the most well-known scene in golf at Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership, though the bushes this 12 months can be full of autumn colours. However for the golfers competing, a unfavourable COVID-19 check can be required earlier than they’ll even set foot on the historic grounds. This is what you want to know in regards to the PGA’s testing protocols, which carefully observe the CDC’s, together with which gamers have already examined optimistic for the coronavirus and what which means for them.
How are golfers examined for COVID-19 on the Masters?
The PGA Tour’s purpose is to have its occasions be in “bubble-like” settings, though that time period would not function in the identical operate because it did for the NBA, NHL, WNBA, MLS and NWSL. The gamers keep in tournament-sanctioned lodges, however they journey to occasions of their very own accord and may dine of their very own accord, for instance.
In late June, the PGA put into place extra stringent pre-tournament testing. Gamers and caddies are required to return a unfavourable “in-market check” earlier than being allowed into amenities in any respect, and that is after being examined earlier than touring to the event. Previous to late June, gamers may very well be on website and follow exterior earlier than their arrival check outcomes returned, however on this case, each participant and caddie should check unfavourable earlier than stepping foot on Augusta Nationwide’s grounds in any respect.
That coverage applies to all folks allowed contained in the “bubble,” be that occasion staffers or trainers or instructors or anybody else.
What occurs if a participant exams optimistic for COVID-19?
By Monday morning of Masters week, two gamers had already withdrawn from the sector because of optimistic COVID-19 exams: Joaquin Niemann and Sergio Garcia.
The PGA’s COVID-19 protocols are supposed to mainly fall in keeping with the Middle for Illness Management and Prevention’s tips. In accordance with CDC tips, a participant/caddie who exams optimistic for COVID-19 however hasn’t proven signs can return to competitors if the participant exams unfavourable twice, with a minimal of 24 hours between exams. Nevertheless, that will not stop a participant from needing to withdraw from the Masters if these two unfavourable exams cannot come again earlier than tee time Thursday.
The PGA can also be following the CDC mannequin in the case of tips for symptomatic exams. A participant/caddie that exams optimistic with signs and continues to check optimistic can solely return when:
- “Not less than 72 hours have handed since restoration, which is outlined as decision of fever with out the usage of fever-reducing medicines and enchancment in respiratory signs (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);” and,
- “Not less than 10 days have handed since signs first appeared.”
Moreover, “any participant or caddie who meets the above standards however continues to return a optimistic COVID-19 check will both compete as a single in competitors or be grouped with gamers beneath the identical state of affairs, and he won’t have entry to indoor amenities on website.” That is to account for the CDC indicating that PCR exams have proven a risk of detecting the virus in RNA even after the infectious virus is now not current.
In abstract: A participant who exams optimistic for COVID-19 on the Masters nearly actually will not have the timeline to nonetheless play within the event. And since they weren’t speculated to be on the grounds earlier than returning a unfavourable check, it signifies that participant would by no means arrive at Augusta Nationwide.
PGA gamers who examined optimistic for COVID-19 in 2020
Along with Garcia and Niemann, who’ve withdrawn from the Masters because of COVID-19 positives, the next is an inventory of gamers nonetheless within the Masters area who’ve examined optimistic however since recovered:
- Cameron Champ
- Dylan Frittelli
- Scottie Scheffler
- Tony Finau
- Dustin Johnson
- Adam Scott
The PGA follows the CDC’s tips on testing in the case of the gamers who’ve already examined optimistic. Following restoration from a optimistic check, a participant is not required to obtain a brand new COVID-19 check by the PGA for three months.
Of the gamers on the listing above, Champ and Frittelli have each surpassed that three-month threshold and can be topic to the identical COVID-19 testing as the remainder of the sector. Scheffler, Finau, Johnson and Scott aren’t required to check since their optimistic exams got here lower than three months in the past. Johnson informed the Los Angeles Instances that he’d be “nervous for positive” if he was ready on check outcomes to play within the Masters.
Why are there no followers at Augusta Nationwide?
Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership introduced Aug. 12 that there could be no followers on the Masters in November. The membership chairman, Fred Ridley, issued the next assertion on the time of the announcement:
“Since our preliminary announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have now remained dedicated to a rescheduled Event in November whereas frequently analyzing how finest to host a worldwide sporting occasion amid this pandemic. As we have now thought of the problems dealing with us, the well being and security of everybody related to the Masters all the time has been our first and most essential precedence.
“All through this course of, we have now consulted with well being officers and a wide range of material specialists. In the end, we decided that the potential dangers of welcoming patrons and visitors to our grounds in November are just too important to beat.”
In that very same announcement, Ridley specified that the membership was hopeful of getting spectators on the 2021 Masters. Most tournaments because the PGA’s return have not allowed followers, though final weekend’s Houston Open bought 2,000 tickets to every spherical of the event.
When is the Masters usually performed?
The Masters is sort of all the time scheduled in order that it is closing spherical comes on the second Sunday in April. That signifies that the complete event takes place on dates in April, with no risk of a March begin.
The 4 rounds of the 2019 Masters, received by Tiger Woods, happened between April 11 and April 14, 2019.
COVID-19 and golf handshakes
As a part of the PGA’s Well being and Security Plan launched earlier than the resumption of play, the tour discouarged any type of on-course handshakes, together with the post-round handshakes which might be widespread on the course. In addition they outlined which parts of golf etiquette must be undertaken by a participant or a caddie.
The participant is anticipated to take away and change golf equipment from his bag and retrieve the ball from the outlet, whereas the caddie can rake bunkers and take away the flagstick when wanted (earlier than cleansing the rake/flagstick after touching it).