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  • Koepka, Spieth, Rose paired at Wyndham Championship
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 10, 2020

    The PGA Tour announced the four featured groups for the Wyndham Championship on Monday, setting the stage for the final event of the regular season.

    • Each of the four featured groups is stocked with players hoping to make the cut for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, a series of three events to determine the FedEx Cup champion and featuring a bonus prize pool of $60 million.

      Full groupings and starting times for the first two rounds of the Wyndham Championship will be released officially Tuesday afternoon.

      The featured groups announced Monday include former FedEx champions Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, and Brandt Snedeker, and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka.

      Koepka (ranked No. 92 in FedEx Cup rankings), Spieth (94) and Rose (103) will be one of the featured groups. Koepka hasn't played at the Wyndham since 2015 and broke into the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standing two weeks ago. Spieth won the 2015 FedEx Cup title, and is also seeking to qualify for the TOUR Championship for the first time since 2017. Rose moved inside the top 125 cutoff line for the FedEx Cup standings with his ninth place finish at the PGA Championship.

      Webb Simpson (No. 3), Sungjae Im (5) and Brendon Todd (9) will be the highest ranked grouping in the field. Simpson has seven top-10 finishes in 11 starts at the Wyndham Championship. Im, meanwhile, led the FedEx Cup standings before the season was suspended in the spring. Todd, who held the co-lead after the first round at the PGA Championship, is one of four players with multiple victories this season.

      J.T. Poston (58), Snedeker (96) and Sergio Garcia (134) all have at least one Wyndham Championship title to their credit. Poston's first career PGA Tour win came at the 2019 Wyndham Championship. Snedeker, winner of the 2012 FedEx Cup, won his second Wyndham title in 2018. This season will only be the second time Garcia will enter the event ranked outside the top 125. In 2018, Garcia came in ranked No. 131 in the FedEx Cup and left at No. 128, missing the FedEx Cup for the first time in his career.

      Patrick Reed (6) and Paul Casey (54) will enter with their spots for the FedEx Cup intact, while Shane Lowry (131) will need to move up. Reed won his first PGA Tour title at the 2013 Wyndham Championship and could finish as high as No. 3 in the FedEx Cup standings with a win. Casey, second at the PGA Championship, jumped 67 spots (from No. 121 to No. 54) with his performance in San Francisco. Lowry has reached the FedEx Cup Playoffs twice before, in 2016 and 2019.

      --Field Level Media

  • Historic Montreal course to host 2024 Presidents Cup
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 10, 2020

    The Royal Montreal Golf Club will host the Presidents Cup in 2021, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced Monday.

    • It will be second time the Quebec club has held the tournament -- the first event was in 2007 -- and it joins The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia as the only international venue to do so more than once.

      "The people of Canada are some of the most loyal and passionate sports fans in the world, and given the overwhelming success of the Presidents Cup in 2007, it was a natural next step for the event to return to The Royal Montreal in 2024," Monahan said in a prepared statement.

      "I have no doubt that with the support of our fans, the corporate community and governments of Quebec and Canada and the City of Montreal, the Presidents Cup 2024 will continue to the positive trajectory of this event."

      In 2007, the U.S. Team, captained by Jack Nicklaus, beat captain Gary Player's International Team, 19 1/2 to 14 1/2 -- the second of eight consecutive victories for the U.S.

      The Royal Montreal Golf Club, founded in 1873, is the oldest golf club in North America.

      Tournament dates for the 2024 competition will be announced at later date.

      The next Presidents Cup will be held Sept. 19-25, 2022, at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rahm regains No. 1 ranking, Morikawa vaults to No. 5
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 10, 2020

    Jon Rahm regained the No. 1 spot in the official world golf rankings on Monday, with Collin Morikawa vaulting to No. 5 the day after his triumph at the PGA Championship.

    • Rahm improved his score each round at TPC Harding Park, eventually finishing tied for 13th after shooting a 66 on Sunday that helped him climb eight spots on the leaderboard. Meanwhile, Justin Thomas settled for an even par 70 and tie for 37th.

      That led to Rahm reclaiming the No. 1 spot that Thomas had just taken with a victory at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational last week.

      Rory McIlroy remained No. 3 followed by Dustin Johnson. Johnson rose one spot with his T2 at the PGA Championship.

      Morikawa continued his rapid ascent, climbing into the top 10 for the first time in his career. He moved up seven spots from No. 12 with his second win in his past four starts.

      Morikawa turned pro last summer and was ranked 1,039th after a T14 at the RBC Canadian Open in June of 2019. He earned his first professional victory at the alternate-field Barracuda Championship later in the year, earning a spot in the Sentry Tournament of Champions as he began 2020 ranked No. 65.

      Webb Simpson dropped two spots to No. 6, followed by Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Adam Scott in the top 10.

      Tiger Woods also fell a spot to No. 16 with his T37.

      --Field Level Media

  • Tiger Woods slides further out of contention with 72
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, August 8, 2020

    Tiger Woods' struggles with his new putter continued Saturday in a 2-over-par round of 72 that dropped him to 2-over through three rounds of the PGA Championship.

    • He was 11 shots off the lead as he finished his third round an hour before the leaders were set to tee off at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

      Woods rallied to birdie two of his final three holes, but the damage had already been done for the 15-time major winner.

      Woods dropped his first shot of the day with a three-putt bogey on the par-3 eighth hole. He also suffered through a stretch of three consecutive bogeys on the back nine before recovering the two shots near the end.

      "I didn't make anything early," he told CBS Sports after the round. "I missed a couple of balls on the wrong sides, and the greens are getting a little crusty and firm. I hit some poor shots that put me in bad angles.

      Woods emphasized the need to hit fairways at TPC Harding Park following his opening round, but managed to find just four of 14 on Saturday. He hit 12 of 18 greens and needed 31 putts even with holing a combined 40 feet worth of putts over his final five holes.

      "Just like yesterday, I didn't make any of the putts to get momentum going and to get the round started," he said. "I fell behind and had to fight back."

      Woods played just his seventh competitive round of golf since February and has struggled this week, following his opening-round 68 with rounds of 72 and 72 to fall out of contention.

      However, he dismissed the notion that his lengthy layoff has led to his inconsistency this week.

      "I've had a lot of prep and understanding of how to do it," Woods said, referencing previous lengthy layoffs due to injuries. "Just a matter of doing it. I did it the first day. Didn't make any putts yesterday and today, not until the end."

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods shoots 2 over but makes cut at PGA
    By Field Level Media / Friday, August 7, 2020

    Despite a poor second round Friday, Tiger Woods made the cut at the PGA Championship in San Francisco.

    • The 15-time major winner shot a 2-over-par 72 in the second round, leaving him at even-par 140. Woods, 44, is tied for 44th heading into the weekend, eight strokes behind leader Haotong Li of China.

      Woods opened with two bogeys -- at the par-3 third hole and the par-4 ninth hole -- as well as seven pars on the front nine. He logged his first birdie at the par-5 10th hole, chipping onto the green and sinking a 9-foot putt.

      Any momentum gained vanished when he bogeyed both the par-4 13th and the par-4 15th holes, but he got a stroke back by making a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th hole.

      Woods closed with consecutive pars to stay clear of the cut that claimed notables such as Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson and Spain's Sergio Garcia.

      Neither of Woods' accomplished playing partners made major moves forward on Friday, either. Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy shot a 1-under 69 to leave him at 1 under overall, tied for 31st, and Justin Thomas barely made the cut at 1 over after an even-par 70.

      --Field Level Media

  • LPGA major ANA Inspiration to be held without fans
    By Field Level Media / Friday, August 7, 2020

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan announced that next month's ANA Inspiration will be held without fans at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

    • The event is traditionally the first of five women's majors each year, but was postponed from late March to Sept. 10-13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

      "We appreciate the friendship of our partners at ANA, who continue to support the LPGA tour through these unprecedented times," Whan said in a statement. Friday. "The champion's walk at 18 and the jump into Poppie's Pond are two of the greatest traditions on the LPGA tour. While we wish we could have fans with us in person to celebrate these exciting moments, ensuring the health and safety of everyone inside and outside the ropes is of the utmost importance."

      The first women's major of 2020 will be the Women's British Open from Aug. 20-23 at Royal Troon in Scotland and also will be conducted without fans.

      Two other majors have yet to announce a decision regarding fans: the KPMG Women's PGA Championship scheduled for Oct. 8-11 and the U.S. Women's Open scheduled for Dec. 10-13.

      The Evian Championship was canceled for this year.

      --Field Level Media

  • DeChambeau replaces broken driver - and increases distance
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, August 6, 2020

    There was little doubt Bryson DeChambeau would attempt to reach the green at the driveable 347-yard, par-4 seventh hole at TPC Harding Park during the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday in San Francisco.

    • So he was puzzled when he smashed his drive, only to see it flare right and land in the rough 296 yards away. That's significantly shorter than the bulked-up DeChambeau's average tee shot -- he entered the week leading the PGA Tour with a driving average of 324.4 yards.

      When he leaned on the driver while picking up his tee, the head of the club snapped off the shaft. It brought a quizzical look from DeChambeau and playing partner Rickie Fowler.

      "I essentially hit the driver on 7 and went, 'That didn't feel right,'" DeChambeau said. "And the ball went the complete opposite direction than I thought it was going to, and it spun a little weird. And I went to bend over and it just broke."

      DeChambeau said he had been using that shaft for more than a year. He was also aware of the new rule that allows players to replace clubs if they are damaged during the normal course of play.

      DeChambeau immediately consulted a rules official and had one of his team members hustle to the parking lot for a replacement shaft. It arrived before his next need for a driver on the ninth hole.

      "If you're doing it out of anger, that's one thing," DeChambeau said, "which I did not at all. I executed a shot, bent over to pick up the tee and it just happened to break.

      "That's one of those things that I don't really know what to say, I don't know how to explain it."

      He went on to birdie the ninth hole en route to a 2-under-par 68.

      According to ESPN, DeChambeau's average distance on his drives increased from 320.5 yards to 339.5 yards with the new shaft.

      "It's a material, it's eventually going to go at some point in time," he said. "I was able to stick (the club head) right back in play and play amazing golf."

      --Field Level Media

  • Augusta mayor: 'Likely' no fans at Masters
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, August 6, 2020

    The Masters likely will be played without a gallery at Augusta National Golf Club this fall, the city's mayor said.

    • "The PGA Championship begins at Harding Park without fans, and that's likely what will probably happen in Augusta," Mayor Hardie Davis said in public comments on Wednesday, WRDW-TV reported.

      The PGA -- the first major being held this year -- began Thursday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco with no spectators on the course. The U.S. Open, set to be played Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, also won't have fans present. It originally was to be held on Father's Day weekend in June, as is usual.

      The Masters, traditionally the first major on the golf season, was scheduled to be held April 9-12 but was moved to Nov. 12-15 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      Tiger Woods is the defending champion.

      Georgia has experienced a summer surge in coronavirus cases. On Thursday, the state Department of Public Health reported well over 3,000 new cases statewide for a total of more than 200,000 in the state.

      --Field Level Media

  • Tiger Woods opens with 'positive' 68 at PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, August 6, 2020

    Even Tiger Woods didn't know what to expect with a new putter in his bag and teeing it up in a major tournament in only his second event in six months.

    • So the 15-time major champion was pleased with his opening-round 68 on Thursday that left him three shots off the lead after the morning wave of the PGA Championship at in San Francisco.

      "It was positive," said Woods, who added that the morning wave had the more favorable conditions Thursday. "We were surprised at some of the pin positions, they were a little bit more on the difficult side.

      "This golf course is all about hitting fairways."

      Woods hit all seven greens in regulation when he hit the fairway Thursday, compared to only three of seven greens when he found the rough off the tee. But it was Woods' new putter that was the topic of conversation around TPC Harding Park.

      He made the switch to a longer putter in an effort to relieve strain on his fused back. The early returns were excellent as Woods made 115 feet worth of putts Thursday, including 30- and 20-footers for birdies.

      "I've been messing around with this thing for over a year," he said of competing following four back procedures. "One of the things that is a lot easier is not to bend over. With my back being the way that it is, and it's fused, it's a little more difficult to bend over."

      Woods began his round on the back nine paired with No. 1 Justin Thomas and No. 3 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.

      He birdied two of his first four holes before slipping back to even par through 11. Woods then poured in three birdies over a four-hole stretch and bogeyed the difficult eighth hole in carding his 2-under-par round.

      Woods anticipates more difficult conditions Friday, when he'll likely be dealing with more wind during the afternoon wave.

      "We got a long way to go," he said. "This golf course is only going to get more difficult. The (pins) for tomorrow are going to be again tough. It puts a premium on hitting the fairways.

      "If you hit the ball in the rough, it's pot luck whether you're going to have a lie or not."

      Same thing with the massive cypress trees, as Woods watch one claim a tee shot from Thomas.

      Woods finished tied for 40th at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago - his only start since February. He was pleased with Thursday's quick start but is seeking more consistency throughout his rounds.

      "The wind is supposed to pick up, it's going to get more difficult," Woods said. "Hopefully I can hit the ball a little more consistent than I today."

      Regardless, Woods is under par following the opening round of a major for the first time since the 2014 Open Championship. He was also under par after the first round in 12 of his 15 major victories.

      --Field Level Media

  • Woods plans to unveil new putter at PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 5, 2020

    Tiger Woods appears ready to shake up his golf bag with a putter switch when he tees it up Thursday at the PGA Championship in San Francisco.

    • Woods reportedly will switch to a different version of the Scotty Cameron Newport II he has used for most of his career. He played a nine-hole practice round on Wednesday at TPC Harding Park, and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker witnessed Woods trying out a different Cameron putter.

      "I asked him about the putter switch," Stricker said. "It's basically the same putter with a bit more flexibility. He's able to change the weights around a little bit, but the length is the difference.

      "He's got a little more length on there, and that's just so he can practice a little bit more without back pain. That's what excites him the most is that he was able to put in a lot of time with this putter, and watching him putt, it looked exactly the same to me. He rolled the ball great."

      Woods reportedly has had the putter since last summer and often practices with it while gauging green speeds.

      Woods played an 18-hole practice round on Sunday and nine more holes on Monday. He practiced on the putting green and range on Tuesday before Wednesday's round with Stricker. He went back to the putting green after the round.

      Woods reportedly used the Newport II during 14 of his 15 major victories. The exception was the 1997 Masters, as Woods first used the model in 1999.

      Woods won the 2019 Masters for his first major victory since the memorable 2008 U.S. Open when he outdueled Rocco Mediate in 91 holes at Torrey Pines. He is three behind Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Grand Slam victories.

      Stricker said he is interested in seeing how Woods fares this week.

      "I expect good things from him if he can keep his body playable," said Stricker, referencing the back issues Woods often faces. "With this weather, it's a challenge. It's cool, it's damp, and so I imagine that will probably be the biggest challenge for him this week is to be able to feel like his body is 100 percent and give it a rip."

      --Field Level Media

  • American Catlin removed from event due to COVID-19 breach
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, August 5, 2020

    American golfer John Catlin was disqualified from the English Championship this week after he and his caddie violated the COVID-19 protocols of the European Tour by eating in a restaurant.

    • Under tour rules, players and caddies cannot venture outside of the golf course and their assigned hotel. Catlin and his caddie ate dinner on Tuesday near the course in Ware, Hertfordshire.

      "I apologize to my fellow players and everyone involved with the tournament this week for this error of judgment," Catlin said in a released statement. "I understand the European Tour's decision and accept the sanction."

      Wilco Nienaber of South Africa will replace Catlin in the tournament, which runs Thursday through Sunday.

      Catlin, 29, played college golf at New Mexico. He made six appearances on the PGA Tour in 2019 with one top-25 finish. He primarily plays on the European and Asian tours and is ranked No. 242 in the world.

      --Field Level Media

  • Delacour withdraws after caddie tests positive for COVID-19
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 4, 2020

    Perrine Delacour withdrew from the LPGA's upcoming Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio, on Tuesday after her caddie tested positive for COVID-19.

    • As Delacour begins a required 14-day quarantine period, she will work with the LPGA, as well as health officials, on contact tracing to find out if anybody else is at risk for contracting the virus.

      "After learning that my caddie tested positive today, despite not having any symptoms, I have withdrawn from this week's event in order to self-isolate following CDC and LPGA guidelines," Delacour said in a statement. "I feel perfectly normal and I wanted to do the right thing."

      Delacour, a 26-year-old from France, does not have an LPGA victory, but she does have three top 10 finishes and is currently No. 131 in the Rolex Rankings. She has nearly $440,000 in career earnings. Delacour tied for 16th at last weekend's Drive On Championship.

      The LPGA conducted 466 COVID-19 saliva tests last week, either pre-travel or on site at the Drive On Championship, with three people testing positive: tour players Marina Alex and Gaby Lopez as well as one caddie.

      "I feel like you never win in this process, but we've probably had closer to 1,000 tests in all and certainly the numbers are low, but geez, we're a long way from claiming victory," LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan said, according to Golfweek.

      The Marathon Classic runs Thursday through Sunday at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

      --Field Level Media

  • Tiger, McIlroy, Thomas grouped together for PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 4, 2020

    Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will play alongside the world's top-ranked player, Justin Thomas, in a star-studded grouping for the first two rounds of the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco this week.

    • The threesome -- who have won a combined seven Wanamaker Trophies between them -- will tee off at 11:33 a.m. ET on the 10th hole Thursday in the first major of the season. They will start at 4:58 p.m. ET on the first hole Friday.

      Woods, 44, will be playing in only his second event of the revised PGA Tour schedule after tying for 40th place at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio in mid-July. He is currently ranked 15th in the world and has won the PGA Championship four times, going back-to-back in 1999 and 2000 and again in 2006 and 2007.

      "I feel good," Woods told reporters Tuesday. "Obviously I haven't played much competitively, but I've been playing a lot at home, so I've been getting plenty of reps that way. ... This is what I've been gearing up for. We've got a lot of big events starting from here."

      McIlroy, a 31-year-old from Northern Ireland, has won the event twice, in 2012 and 2014. He's currently ranked third in the world after spending 11 weeks ranked No. 1 earlier this year.

      Thomas, 27, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, reclaimed the top ranking this week after winning the WGC - FedEx St. Jude Invitational over the weekend. He also finished second at the Workday Charity Open in Dublin last month.

      Sticking close to tradition, back-to-back defending PGA champion Brooks Koepka will play with defending U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland and defending British Open champion Shane Lowry of Ireland, starting at 11:11 a.m. on No. 10 on Thursday.

      Teeing off right behind that threesome -- and right before the Woods-McIlroy-Thomas group -- on Thursday will be three former world No. 1's in Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Englishman Justin Rose (11:22 a.m. on 10).

      Another group of top contenders in Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott of Australia will start on the first tee at 4:47 p.m. on Thursday, followed by Phil Mickelson and Spaniards Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia in the next grouping.

      "This is going to be a fun test for all of us," Woods said. "The rough is up. The fairways are much more narrow here than they were (at the Presidents Cup in 2009)."

      There will be no fans present at the event, which includes 96 of the world's top 100 players.

      Koepka is aiming to be the first player to win the same major three consecutive times since Peter Thomson at The Open Championship from 1954-56.

      --Field Level Media

  • van Rooyen accepts temporary PGA Tour membership
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, August 4, 2020

    South Africa's Erik van Rooyen has accepted Special Temporary Membership for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, making him eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions.

    • van Rooyen rose to No. 44 in the official world golf ranking by tying for 20th at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. That helped him earn enough non-member FedEx Cup points to secure the temporary membership.

      The former University of Minnesota star tied for third at the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this year. van Rooyen has also finished in the top 25 in each of the three cuts he has made in six events since the Tour resumed play in June.

      He has currently earned 305 non-member points this season. To secure full Tour status for the 2020-21 season, van Rooyen must earn at least as many points as the No. 125 player in the FedEx Cup standings. Chase Seiffert currently sits at No. 125 with 254 points.

      Special Temporary Members are not eligible for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, meaning van Rooyen must win one of the next two events in order to qualify for the first leg of the playoffs at The Northern Trust.

      van Rooyen, 30, has three career victories worldwide. The most recent was the 2019 Scandinavian Invitation on the European Tour.

      --Field Level Media

  • Justin Thomas confident he can hold onto No. 1 this time
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 3, 2020

    Justin Thomas got a taste of being the No. 1 ranked golf in the word when he was only 25 years old.

    • That was in 2018, when he spent four weeks atop the official world golf rankings. It has taken two years to get back to that perch as Thomas leapfrogged Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy for No. 1 with his victory at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday.

      Heading into the first major of the year at this week's PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco, Thomas believes he is better equipped to stay at the top for an extended period.

      "I would like to think so, I hope so," Thomas said. "I feel like I'm a better player and I feel like I'm more complete of a golfer now than I was then."

      Thomas has three victories this season and is a previous PGA Championship winner, claiming his lone major title to date at Quail Hollow Club in 2017. He has 13 titles overall at just 27 years old.

      "I've been fortunate to have a good career so far," he said. "But I plan on playing out here for a long time and have a lot of things that I still want to accomplish. And every milestone and stepping stone is hopefully something that I can learn from and something that will help me even more in the long run."

      Rahm slipped one spot to No. 2 after lasting exactly one start in his first time atop the rankings. He shot a 66 on Sunday to move up 15 spots for a 52nd-place finish in Memphis, while McIlroy slipped to No. 3 with his T47.

      There were no other changes in the top 15 of the rankings.

      Another big mover was Daniel Berger, who snagged a share of second place with his final-round 65.

      Ranked 152nd in January, Berger has rocketed up to No. 20 with a win and six top-10s in his past seven starts. He also qualified for the U.S. Open.

      "Yeah, that was interesting," Berger said. "I won Colonial (at the Charles Schwab Challenge) and I still wasn't in the U.S. Open. I do have a spot there and obviously looking forward to next week having some good play under my belt."

      --Field Level Media

  • Daly, Singh withdraw from PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Monday, August 3, 2020

    Former champions John Daly and Vijay Singh have withdrawn from the PGA Championship this week at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

    • The PGA Championship is the first major of 2020 and is scheduled to begin Thursday without fans in attendance.

      Daly, who won the PGA Championship in 1991, cited health concerns, according to tournament officials. He'll be replaced in the field by Denny McCarthy.

      Singh, who won the PGA Championship in 1998 and 2004, cited an unspecified injury and will be replaced by Argentina's Emiliano Grillo.

      Both Daly, 54, and Singh, 57, competed in the Ally Challenge on the Champions Tour over the weekend.

      --Field Level Media

  • Grace withdraws from Barracuda after positive test
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, August 1, 2020

    Branden Grace withdrew prior to Saturday's third round of the Barracuda Championship after testing positive for COVID-19.

    • The 32-year-old South African was tied for second place through two rounds at the PGA Tour event at the Tahoe Mountain Club in Truckee, Calif.

      "Last night, I was tired and thought it had to do with the altitude," Grace said in a statement. "This morning, I notified the PGA Tour about my symptoms before going to the golf course. I wanted to get tested out of respect for my peers and everyone involved with the tournament. While it is unfortunate given my position on the leaderboard, the most important thing is our health."

      Grace must now self-isolate for 10 days, which knocks him out of next week's PGA Championship in San Francisco.

      He is the eighth PGA Tour player to test positive for the coronavirus since the tour resumed play in June.

      The tour said Grace's caddie tested negative but will follow protocol and enter a 14-day quarantine period. Additional contact tracing didn't produce any positive tests.

      Grace has won nine titles on the European Tour and one on the PGA Tour, the 2016 RBC Heritage. He missed the cut at his previous four PGA Tour events heading into the Barracuda Championship.

      --Field Level Media

  • Molinari, Harrington, Waring withdraw from PGA Championship
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 31, 2020

    Francesco Molinari, Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington and Paul Waring have withdrawn from the PGA Championship next week at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

    • The PGA Championship is the first major of 2020 and is scheduled to begin Thursday without fans in attendance.

      Molinari, who is ranked No. 33 in the world, did not provide a public reason for his decision, however the Italian has not played since the pandemic shut down the sport for three months.

      Paul Waring of England, ranked No. 86, also withdrew from the event on Friday. He has been suffering from a back injury.

      Molinari's departure means the PGA Championship will have 94 of the world's top 100 golfers in the field. Joining Molinari and Waring in being absent for the tournament are No. 36 Lee Westwood of England, No. 50 Shuga Imahira of Japan, No. 76 Thomas Pieters of Belgium and No. 89 Eddie Pepperell of England.

      Harrington, who won the PGA Championship in 2008, announced his reasoning over Twitter.

      "After much deliberation, I have decided not to travel to next week's PGA Championship," Harrington wrote on Friday. "As Covid-19 currently looks to be under control in Ireland, I am taking the prudent approach by following the guidelines and reducing the risk as much as possible by staying at home.

      "I'm sure I'll be watching every shot on TV with great interest and hopefully I'll have many more years to play in the PGA Championship."

      Americans Troy Merritt, Talor Gooch and Russell Henley are taking the spots of the three withdrawn players in this year's field.

      --Field Level Media

  • Alex second LPGA player to test positive for COVID-19
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 30, 2020

    Marina Alex became the second LPGA player to test positive for COVID-19 ahead of the tour's restart this weekend in Ohio.

    • Alex posted a statement to Twitter saying she has withdrawn from the Drive On Championship to be held in Toledo, Ohio, and that she is asymptomatic. She was tested July 21.

      "I know this virus has affected so many lives and it is not something I am taking lightly," Alex wrote. "I have remained in isolation while continuing a testing regiment which has successfully provided 3 negative tests in the last 7 days.

      "I have exhausted every resource possible to be able to compete at Inverness, however due to current CDC guidelines and the current protocols the LPGA has put in place for our safety my official clearance date does not allow me to compete this week," Alex said.

      Gaby Lopez was the first to test positive and a caddie, who was not named, also tested positive in the pre-travel phase of the testing protocol.

      Alex is 15th on the LPGA's money leaders for 2020 with $88,810 in winnings.

      The first round tees off Friday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Day parts with long-time swing coach Swatton
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 30, 2020

    After two decades together, Jason Day has parted ways with mentor and swing coach Colin Swatton.

    • "It's been a long and successful road working with Col. I have just decided I want to make a change and work on my own as it pertains to my golf swing," Day told on Wednesday ahead of this week's World Golf Championships FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

      "Col has been way more than just a caddie and coach to me. I am forever grateful for all he has done for my golf and his continued friendship."

      Day, 32, began working with Swatton at age 12 while attending a boarding school in his native Australia.

      "It's been a privilege to work with Jason since his childhood and I'll always cherish the ride we've shared that took us all the way to the top of the golf world," Swatton said.

      Day has 12 wins on the PGA Tour and spent 51 weeks at No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings from 2015-16, a span that included his only major title at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

      Day's last win came at the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2018. He is currently ranked No. 43 in the world, coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes last month at the Workday Charity Open and The Memorial.

      --Field Level Media

  • PGA Championship to feature 96 of top 100
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 30, 2020

    The PGA Championship is slated to feature 96 of the top 100 players in the official world golf rankings.

    • The only four players not committed to the field are No. 36 Lee Westwood, No. 50 Shuga Imahira, No. 76 Thomas Pieters and No. 89 Eddie Pepperell.

      The PGA Championship is the first major of 2020 and is scheduled to begin Aug. 6 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco without fans in attendance.

      Westwood said at last week's British Masters that he is "slightly asthmatic" and not yet comfortable with traveling to the United States.

      "I still don't feel comfortable and I don't feel like it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours," Westwood said. "I'm still concerned that America doesn't take (the virus) as seriously as the rest of the world. It still seems to be one of the hot spots for outbreaks.

      "I can control me not getting the virus and take all the measures I can, but somebody might pass it on. Right now there are too many ifs."

      Among those returning to competition this week are No. 9 Adam Scott from Australia and No. 33 Francesco Molinari, the Italian who announced his family is relocating from London to California.

      No. 153 Troy Merritt, No. 141 Talor Gooch and No. 174 Russell Henley are the top three alternates.

      While previously stating that players who care about their careers should be traveling to compete in the U.S., second-ranked Rory McIlroy said this week that he sympathizes with Westwood and Pepperell. At the same time, he would likely have traveled to Europe had The Open Championship been played this year.

      "I understand their plight," McIlroy said. "But if it was a major championship, it would probably be different and I probably would go over and play it.

      "But that's not to say what Lee and Eddie are doing isn't right, that they feel safer and they feel that their time is better spent at home and not exposing themselves to more people and not having the chance of getting sick or getting someone else sick."

      --Field Level Media

  • Euros at home: Rory softens stance, Koepka would do 'anything' for job
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 29, 2020

    Six weeks after saying players should be traveling to the United States if they "really care" about their careers, Rory McIlroy softened that stance a bit Wednesday.

    • The world's second-ranked player was asked if he sympathized with Lee Westwood and Eddie Pepperell remaining in England rather than traveling to the U.S. for next week's PGA Championship. Both play on the European Tour and chose not to travel abroad for a single event.

      "I understand their plight," he said. "But if it was a major championship, it would probably be different and I probably would go over and play it.

      "But that's not to say what Lee and Eddie are doing isn't right, that they feel safer and they feel that their time is better spent at home and not exposing themselves to more people and not having the chance of getting sick or getting someone else sick."

      McIlroy also said he may not travel to some fall events in Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine restrictions.

      Brooks Koepka wasn't asked specifically about Westwood and Pepperell, but the sixth-ranked player in the world cut his professional teeth on the Challenge Tour in Europe and has emerged as one of the game's most outspoken players.

      Like McIlroy, he would have been in Europe had The Open Championship been contested this year, but also "would have done whatever's necessary" to play in major events.

      "Listen, this is my job," the four-time major winner said Wednesday. "I'll do anything for my job, whether that means go sit in a hotel room for 14 days and go over there and be able to play and then come back and have to do it 14 days, it is what it is.

      "I've already sacrificed a lot for my job, friendships, family, relationships, anything. I don't see why that would change."

      McIlroy was critical last month of international players who were staying home during the PGA Tour's restart.

      That included England's Tommy Fleetwood, who returned at last week's 3M Open, and Australia's Adam Scott, who plans to make his first start since March at the PGA Championship. Italy's Francesco Molinari announced last month that he is relocating from London to California and planned to make his return at Harding Park in San Francisco as well.

      "I honestly don't understand the guys complaining because there is a solution to it," McIlroy said before the RBC Heritage last month. "You can come over here and do what needs to be done.

      "We all have the means to rent a very nice house in a gated community in Florida and, you know, it's not a hardship for two weeks to come over and quarantine. My caddie Harry (Diamond) came over and did it. He stayed in our guest house. The two weeks flew by."

      The process of traveling to the U.S. was made easier with White House officials announcing Friday that players, caddies and other essential golf personnel entering the country for an event no longer must quarantine for 14 days due to the PGA Tour's vigorous COVID-19 testing.

      However, that did not sway the 34th-ranked Westwood to make the trip for this week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational or the PGA Championship.

      "I still don't feel comfortable and I don't feel like it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours," Westwood said at the British Masters on Saturday. "I'm still concerned that America doesn't take (the virus) as seriously as the rest of the world. It still seems to be one of the hot spots for outbreaks.

      "I can control me not getting the virus and take all the measures I can, but somebody might pass it on. I don't really want to get ill with it and I'm slightly asthmatic. If I tested (positive) in Memphis I would have to stay there for two weeks.

      "Right now there are too many ifs."

      --Field Level Media

  • Thomas to have 'Bones' on bag with caddie ill
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 29, 2020

    Justin Thomas said Wednesday that Jim "Bones" McKay will be on his bag for the next two golf tournaments while his regular caddie battles an unspecified illness.

    • Looper Jimmy Johnson had to bow out during the third round of the Memorial two weeks after getting light-headed, forcing Thomas to have his father, Mike, finish up the tourney.

      Johnson said he's returning home and plans to undergo testing on Thursday, according to Yahoo Sports.

      Thomas told Golf Channel that McKay will be on his bag for this week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis and next week's PGA Championship.

      --Field Level Media

  • McIlroy: 'Time to play well' as marquee events stack up
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 29, 2020

    Rory McIlroy, in a minor slump since the PGA Tour ended its pandemic-prompted hiatus, hopes for a turnaround during the string of significant events scheduled over the coming weeks.

    • "This is the time to play well," McIlroy said Tuesday ahead of the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which starts Thursday in Memphis, Tenn. "I sort of feel fortunate that I had that good stretch of golf before everything shut down.

      "You know, I've been sort of able to hold my position in the FedEx Cup, and that's a huge incentive the next few weeks, is getting myself in position for (the Tour Championship) and obviously trying to go back to back."

      The 31-year-old Northern Irishman was ranked No. 1 in the world when sports shut down in mid-March, and he was riding a string of seven consecutive top-five finished worldwide.

      Since play resumed in mid-June, his four tournament results were a tie for 32nd, a tie for 41st, a tie for 11th and another tie for 32nd. Two weeks ago, he lost the No. 1 ranking to Spain's Jon Rahm.

      McIlroy will tee it up this week at TPC Southwind, then next week he'll play the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

      Two weeks later, the PGA Tour playoffs begin, with events in Boston (Aug. 20-23) and Olympia Fields, Ill., (Aug. 27-30) before the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta (Sept. 4-7).

      "It's coming thick and fast," McIlroy said. "We've got this week obviously, which is a huge event and a lot of points on the line. Obviously PGA next week, a major, which is the first major of the year, which sounds sort of weird. Then, yeah, obviously the three playoff events. Yeah, it's busy. ...

      "It sort of feels like it's back to the old days where we played Akron and then went straight to the PGA Championship. I always enjoyed those two weeks. I did well, I did well going that way. So sort of reminds me back when we did that."

      McIlroy won't change his strategy for the PGA Championship despite the compacted schedule and the lack of fans, who are barred from attending because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      "I don't think I'm approaching it any differently," he said. "Obviously it is going to be different. You're not going to have fans and atmosphere is not going to be what we're used to at a major championship, but it's a major championship venue. It's a great golf course, obviously a really strong field, and I don't think there's any better way to get prepared than to play here (in Memphis) this week."

      --Field Level Media

  • Lopez tests positive for COVID-19, withdraws from Drive On
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, July 29, 2020

    Gaby Lopez is the first LPGA player to test positive for COVID-19 and has withdrawn from this week's Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio.

    • Lopez, 26, took a saliva test on Monday and discussed her positive test Wednesday on her Twitter account. She said she was in self-isolation.

      LPGA coronavirus protocol requires the Mexico native to quarantine for at least 10 days. The LPGA said Lopez will take a saliva test on the 10th day and undergo a medical evaluation to determine whether she is cleared to return.

      "I was very excited to get back to playing on tour after this long break and while I'm disappointed that I'll have to wait a little longer, I am glad that I was able to get tested and to make sure I do not put anyone else at risk," Lopez said in her statement. "I am self-isolating and will be following all the CDC and LPGA guidelines to get back to competing on Tour in a safe manner. I'm feeling good and looking forward to when I can return to playing on Tour."

      Lopez has two career victories, including a win at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January.

      This week's tournament, which begins Friday at Inverness Club, is the first LPGA event since mid-February due to the coronavirus pandemic.

      --Field Level Media