PGA Tour player Nick Watney withdraws from tournament after testing positive for Kovid-19

PGA Tour player Nick Watney withdraws from tournament after testing positive for Kovid-19
Niki J. Layton
Written by Niki J. Layton

39-year-old Watney dropped out of the RBC Heritage Tournament at Hilton Head, South Carolina on Friday before the second round.

Watney was tested negative for the virus when he arrived at the program, but was re-tested Friday after he was told he had symptoms. According to the PGA Tour.

He flew privately for the tournament, which began Thursday and was not on a charter plane offered by the PGA Tour, the company said.

“Nick is fully supported by the PGA Tour during his self-isolation and recovery period as per CDC guidelines,” the PGA Tour said in a statement.

“For the health and well-being of all those involved with the tournament, the Tour began implementing its response plan, including consultation with medical professionals and working closely with Nick.”

Watney, a five-time winner of the PGA Tour, played with fellow Americans Vaughn Taylor and Luke List in the first round and carded a three-over par 74.

A total of 369 people, including players, caddies and required personnel, were tested for Kovid-19 before the tournament began, the PGA Tour said. All those tests were negative.

The PGA Tour declined to comment further and urged news organizations and fans to respect Watney’s privacy.

The Heritage Tournament is the second since the PGA Tour has resumed following a suspension due to a coronavirus pandemic. It is played without audiences and with strict protocols.

American Daniel Berger won the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas last week, and the world’s top golfers returned to the competition after a three-month hiatus.

CNN’s Jill Martin contributed to this report.

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About the author

Niki J. Layton

Niki J. Layton

Niki J. Layton is a journalist who writes on politics, environment and human rights in South Asia.

For 15 years, she has written for several publications and websites including TIME, Harper's, Al Jazeera, The Caravan, The Hindu,, Outlook, The Wire, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Economic Times, Tehelka, and news channel CNN-IBN. She is an India correspondent for The Straits Times, Singapore.

Some of the awards she has received are the Red Cross Award for reporting on conflict, Mumbai press award for environmental reporting, and ILO award for writing on labour. Niki has a Masters in political journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York

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