Days after winning the RBC Heritage, Webb Simpson has withdrawn from this week’s Travelers Championship after one of his family members tested positive for COVID-19.
Simpson eked out a one-shot win last week at Harbour Town, his second victory of the year and one that vaulted him to No. 5 in the world rankings. But he won’t be in the field this week at TPC River Highlands, opting to withdraw “out of an abundance of caution” despite testing negative for the virus twice this week.
“In the last 24 hours, I have had a family member test positive for COVID-19,” Simpson said in a statement. “While my tests this week were negative, I feel like it is my responsibility to take care of my family and protect my peers in the field by withdrawing from the Travelers Championship. I am going to return home to Charlotte and quarantine under CDC guidelines, and I look forward to returning to competition after that time period.”
Simpson has played in each of the first two Tour events since a three-month coronavirus hiatus, having also missed the cut earlier this month at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a playoff and was considered one of the favorites for this week’s event following his win last week that included a new tournament scoring record.
Instead, he is one of several notable withdrawals because of coronavirus concerns. Cameron Champ withdrew Tuesday after testing positive, while Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell both withdrew because their respective caddies, Ricky Elliott and Ken Comboy, tested positive for the virus. Chase Koepka Monday qualified for the event but, like Simpson, opted to pull out in an abundance of caution because he was in close proximity to someone who tested positive.
Replacing Simpson, Champ, McDowell, Brooks and Chase in the field are Sebastian Cappelen, David Hearn, Tim Wilkinson, Robert Streb and Tyler McCumber.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed that through three weeks of testing on both the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour, preliminary screening had turned up seven positive results for COVID-19 out of 2,757 tests administered to players, caddies and other essential personnel.