Positive COVID test leads to more withdrawals from Travelers

  • Matt Wallace, left, of England, walks with his caddie David McNeilly to the fourth tee box during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Friday, June 26, 2020, in Cromwell, Conn. Wallace is playing the second round by himself after two other golfers in his group, Denny McCarthy and Bud Cauley, withdrew from the tournament. McCarthy told Golfchannel.com that he withdrew from the tournament after feeling sick Thursday night and testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Cauley, who played with McCarthy on Thursday, also withdrew before Friday's second round. McCarthy became the third PGA Tour player to test positive for the virus since its restart and the second this week, joining Cameron Champ who withdrew on Tuesday. Nick Watney withdrew just before the second round of last week's RBC Heritage Championship. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

  • In this Thursday, June 25, photo, Denny McCarthy, left, Matt Wallace, center left, Bud Cauley, right, and Cauley's caddie Matt Hauser stand at the third tee box during the first round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. McCarthy told Golfchannel.com that he withdrew from the tournament after feeling sick Thursday night and testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Cauley, who played with McCarthy on Thursday, also withdrew before Friday's second round. McCarthy became the third PGA Tour player to test positive for the virus since its restart and the second this week, joining Cameron Champ who withdrew on Tuesday. Nick Watney withdrew just before the second round of last week's RBC Heritage Championship. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

  • In this Thursday, June 25, photo, Denny McCarthy tees off on the third hole during the first round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. McCarthy told Golfchannel.com that he withdrew from the tournament after feeling sick Thursday night and testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Bud Cauley, who played with McCarthy on Thursday, also withdrew before Friday's second round. McCarthy became the third PGA Tour player to test positive for the virus since its restart and the second this week, joining Cameron Champ who withdrew on Tuesday. Nick Watney withdrew just before the second round of last week's RBC Heritage Championship. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

  • Matt Wallace, of England, during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Friday, June 26, 2020, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

  • Matt Wallace, right, of England, tees off on the third hole as caddie David McNeilly looks on during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Friday, June 26, 2020, in Cromwell, Conn. Wallace is playing the second round by himself after two other golfers in his group, Denny McCarthy and Bud Cauley, withdrew from the tournament. McCarthy told Golfchannel.com that he withdrew from the tournament after feeling sick Thursday night and testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Cauley, who played with McCarthy on Thursday, also withdrew before Friday's second round. McCarthy became the third PGA Tour player to test positive for the virus since its restart and the second this week, joining Cameron Champ who withdrew on Tuesday. Nick Watney withdrew just before the second round of last week's RBC Heritage Championship. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

  • Matt Wallace, right, of England, stands with his caddie David McNeilly before teeing off on the third hole during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Friday, June 26, 2020, in Cromwell, Conn. Wallace is playing the second round by himself after two other golfers in his group, Denny McCarthy and Bud Cauley, withdrew from the tournament. McCarthy told Golfchannel.com that he withdrew from the tournament after feeling sick Thursday night and testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Cauley, who played with McCarthy on Thursday, also withdrew before Friday's second round. McCarthy became the third PGA Tour player to test positive for the virus since its restart and the second this week, joining Cameron Champ who withdrew on Tuesday. Nick Watney withdrew just before the second round of last week's RBC Heritage Championship. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

  • Xinjun Zhang, of China, tees off on the 3rd hole during the first round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Frank Franklin II

Associated Press
Published: 6/26/2020 4:51:21 PM

CROMWELL, Conn. — Will Gordon shot an 8-under 62 Friday to move into the early lead at the Travelers Championship, where two more golfers withdrew due to the coronavirus.

Gordon, a 23-year-old Vanderbilt graduate playing his fourth PGA Tour event on a sponsor’s exemption, is 12-under 128 after 36 holes.

He was two shots up on Mackenzie Hughes, who shot a first-round 60 and was playing Friday afternoon.

South Hadley native Richy Werenski shot a 2-under 68 to sit at 3 under after two rounds. The projected cut as of 5 p.m. at 4 under.

Werenski had three birdies and one bogey on the front nine. He closed with one bogey and one birdie on the back nine.

The Travelers field continued to shrink after Denny McCarthy tested positive for the coronavirus. McCarthy withdrew along with Bud Cauley, who tested negative for the virus, but had played with McCarthy on Thursday.

The departure of McCarthy and Cauley make seven withdrawals from the tournament because of COVID-19.

Gordon shot a 30 on his first nine holes, making six birdies and a single bogey on the back nine at TPC River Highlands. He had nine birdies during his round and just missed a few others, including on the fourth hole where his 35-foot birdie putt came to rest on the edge of the cup.

“After seeing the scores yesterday morning I knew that it was going to be gettable this morning,” he said. “I Just tried to come into today with a really positive mindset and aggressive mindset and I was able to do that and execute early, which whenever I get that momentum early, I usually don’t let it go, so I was pretty proud of myself and how I hung in there early.”

Gordon tied for the best round of the morning with Brendan Steele, who is 9 under after a 69 on Thursday.

McCarthy, who shot an opening-round 67, said he began began feeling sick Thursday night and tested positive for the virus on Friday morning.

“I woke up in the middle of the night with additional aches and soreness and sensed something was off,” he said. “I felt like the only thing to do was get tested at that point before I went to the course.”

Cauley, who opened with a 69, had two negative tests on Friday. He withdrew “out of an abundance of caution for my peers and everyone involved with the tournament,” he said.

Matt Wallace, the third member of their group, teed off by himself early Friday afternoon, hoping to improve on his even par opening round.

McCarthy is the third PGA Tour player to test positive for the virus since its restart and the second this week, joining Cameron Champ, who withdrew on Tuesday.

Nick Watney withdrew just before the second round of last week’s RBC Heritage Championship. Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell, Brooks Koepka and his brother Chase also withdrew from the Travelers after coming into contact with people who had the virus.

McDowell and Brooks Koepka’s caddies both tested positive. Simpson cited the positive test of a family member.

Collin Morikawa, also is heading home, but not because of COVID-19. The 23-year-old Californian was expected to miss the cut for the first time in his PGA Tour career after rounds of 72-71, well above the expected cut.

Morikawa had made 22 straight cuts since turning in June, the longest such streak since Tiger Woods began his PGA Tour career with 25 consecutive cuts.

“It was bound to happen at some point,” he said. “Who knows when that was going to be. But now I guess we’re going to stop talking about it and I can go and just go on to next week. I’m going to learn a lot from this week.”


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