PGA Tour's Harris English out of Rocket Mortgage Classic after positive COVID-19 test

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said he was expecting to see some COVID-19 cases each week, and Detroit now has its first one.

Harris English, a 30-year-old from Valdosta, Georgia, tested positive for the coronavirus during the pre-tournament screening ahead of this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.

Harris English

English was forced to pull out of the tournament; Chandler Phillips takes his place in the field.

"While it's disappointing to receive this news, as I feel healthy, I'm pleased that the new safety protocols we have in place worked this week," English said in a statement. "I fully supported the Tour's new rule of not allowing anyone on the tournament grounds until testing negative, as protecting others in the field and everyone affiliated with the tournament and the community should be the No. 1 priority.

"I appreciate the Tour's support and I look forward to competing again after I'm fully recovered."

English, a two-time winner, is the fifth PGA Tour player to test positive for COVID-19 since the Tour's return to action earlier this month. Dylan Frittelli was the fourth, learning of a positive test before he was to board the Tour charter from the Travelers Championship to Detroit on Monday.

English didn't play at the Travelers and had traveled to Detroit on his own.

Two caddies also have tested positive since golf's restart.

COVID-19 has cost Detroit four players, including Cameron Champ, who tested positive last week, and Graeme McDowell, whose caddie tested positive.

PGA Tour officials planned to conduct more than 400 tests of players, caddies and essential tournament staff Monday, ahead of the tournament, which runs Thursday through Sunday.

Other people allowed on the grounds, including media and tournament volunteers, will not be tested, but will have medical screenings, including daily temperature checks. Media and volunteers will be kept at a distance from players and caddies throughout the week.


Rocket Mortgage Classic

When: July 2-5

Where: Detroit Golf Club

Defending champion: Nate Lashley

Notable players: Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrell Hatton, Tony Finau, Sungjae Im, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Na, Danny Willett, Kevin Kisner, Erik van Rooyen, Christian Bezuidenhout, Bubba Watson, Matt Wallace, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Brandt Snedeker, Jason Day, Steve Stricker, Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh

TV: Thursday, Friday — Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m; Saturday-Sunday — Golf Channel, 1-3 p.m; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

Wednesday: Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Harold Varner III and Wesley Bryan will play a nine-hole exhibition for charity, and it will air live on Golf Channel from 1-3 p.m.

Tickets: None; the event will be held without fans because of COVID-19.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984