PGA Tour commissioner: Widespread testing will be needed to hold Rocket Mortgage Classic
Detroit — While the PGA Tour has identified June as its restart goal, that time frame, like all of sports trying to figure out when they can get back to action, appears quite fluid amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said Friday in an interview with Mike Tirico that the PGA Tour will need to have rapid coronavirus testing available before it begins competition.
That includes the Rocket Mortgage Classic, now set for Detroit Golf Club from July 2-5. The tournament was pushed back from its original late May dates.
"We need to have widespread, large-scale testing across our country, where we are going to be able to test players, caddies and other constituents before we return," Monahan told Tirico.
"But we need to do so (in a way) that's not going to take away from the critical need we're going to be facing."
The ability to test anybody who shows symptoms throughout the United States has been problematic in some of the nation's hardest-hit regions, many of which are facing a serious shortage of stock.
And professional sports don't want to get in the way of the greater need, Monahan said.
The PGA Tour has 25 members who currently are outside the country, and even more caddies, and the Tour will need to be able to track their movement throughout the week leading up to a tournament.
"We're going to need rapid-response, large-scale testing," Monahan said. "The emergence of new testing formats and new testing protocols are very encouraging.
"We, like other sports, are spending a lot of time relying on experts and identifying the resources we need to come back in a safe and responsible way.
"This is as important as the schedule itself."
The Rocket Mortgage Classic, the second-year PGA Tour tournament, is the fourth event on the PGA Tour's restart calendar, and is scheduled to be played without fans. Hundreds of people still will be on the grounds, though, including players, caddies, volunteers, broadcast workers, Tour staff and members of the media.