HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – It might have been the most surreal 24 hours of Vaughn Taylor’s PGA Tour career.
Taylor followed a second-round 69 with a 1-under 70 on Saturday at the RBC Heritage – four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey-6 – but that doesn’t touch the range of emotions the 44-year-old has endured since he learned that Nick Watney, one of Taylor’s playing partners on Thursday, had withdrawn on Friday morning after testing positive for COVID-19.
“It’s been an interesting 24 hours, lots of thoughts and emotions,” said Taylor who was tied for 57th when he completed his round. “Mostly thinking about Nick. I hope he’s feeling well and gets through this physically and mentally. It’s got to be a tough position to be in, being the first guy. I feel for him.”
Taylor and Luke List, who was also paired with Watney on Thursday, and their caddies had to be tested for coronavirus according to the Tour’s safety protocols. Both tested negative for the virus.
Watney’s was the first positive test on Tour since the circuit restarted its schedule last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge and most players said they remain confident in the Tour’s current testing plan, but Watney did offer one suggestion.
“I feel like I want to get tested before I get on this charter [flight] again, and I just want to make sure guys are getting tested enough. I don’t know if we are. They’re telling us we are. So we’ve got to trust those guys,” he said. “It would be nice if we just had the ability to get tested whenever we like.”