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Wednesday, May 13, 2020
PGA Tour Announce Protocols for Tournaments Return

PGA Tour detail strict protocols for return to competition, the protocols will see players go through five stages of testing before being permitted to compete.

With the Bermuda Championship set for October 26th - November 1st at the Port Royal Golf Course, the PGA Tour has issued a comprehensive health and safety guide for players and caddies ahead of the resumption of competitive golf next month.

The lengthy document details all the procedures that must be adhered to ahead of each tournament, with the focus on an extensive testing programme that will commence before players have started their travel to the venue.

The process begins with pre-travel testing for Covid-19 and, assuming the test is negative, every player will then undergo a four-stage screening process when they arrive at the host city via a chartered flight laid on by the PGA Tour.

Each player and caddie must first complete a questionnaire before having their temperatures taken, taking a nasal and saliva test and an antibody test, the results of which will be available no more than 48 hours later.

Players will be permitted to practice while waiting for the results, but they will not have access to the course facilities until each stage of the test conclusive reveals a negative result.

The document states: "In implementing our testing plan, we will not do so in a manner that takes away from testing and medical resources in the communities in which we play or for affected groups in those communities."

The on-site tests will be conducted daily, and if any player or caddie produces a positive test, they will be forced into self-isolation at a pre-determined location for a minimum of 10 days.

The PGA Tour has also placed severe restrictions on the "essential personnel" who will have permission to access each site, with players' agents, managers and members of their family barred from attending.

Coaches and interpreters will be allowed on site, with everybody constantly reminded to observe the social distancing guidelines at all times.

Players have also been urged to replace their clubs into their bags themselves rather than just hand back to the caddies, who can use rakes in the bunkers and remove and replace the flagsticks providing they sanitize their hands immediately afterwards.

The PGA Tour is also allowing up to 40 members of the media to cover each event, with no more than three "pool" reporters collecting interviews from the players before, and during, each tournament.

Everyone on site will have easy access to sanitizing stations, anti-bacterial wipes and personal protective equipment (PPE) should they wish to use it.

The first tournament back will be the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Texas, starting on June 11 - the first competitive golf since The Players was abandoned after just one round at TPC Sawgrass in March.
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