Pro withdraws from Players Championship due to risk of ‘exposure to the coronavirus’

March 12, 2020

While the NBA suspended its season on Wednesday night due to some of its players being exposed to (and at least a couple actually contracting) coronavirus, the PGA Tour decided to proceed with its Players Championship on Thursday.

But at least one player, C.T. Pan, didn’t think it was worth playing. Pan, 28, of Taiwan, withdrew before his 2:02 p.m. tee time and sent some (now deleted) cryptic tweets on social media. About an hour later he released a statement on Twitter.

“I chose to withdraw from The Players Championship because my wife and I want to protect ourselves from the risk of exposure to the coronavirus,” he wrote. “We are fine and our families are fine. Our lifestyle is like a circus, traveling from one place to another. We believe this is a time to exercise caution by not playing this week.”

Before his WD was announced, Pan’s wife, Michelle, and pro Zac Blair were discussing the canceled events on Twitter.

“The risk is at the players and family dining not on the course!,” Michelle wrote. “Players travel week after week, taking flights, staying at the hotel and eating together every week!” Pan replied with: “We already left hours ago. Not going to play.”

Golf Channel reporter Will Gray shared the tweet, which Pan responded to, saying: “I’m probably the only one who is not playing, same number as the hand sanitizers in the clubhouse, locker and dining.” The tweet has since been deleted, and 10 minutes later his WD was officially announced, with Brendan Steele taking his place.

The PGA Tour has not yet responded to GOLF.com’s request for comment regarding Pan’s deleted tweet.


Louis Oosthuizen also withdrew from the Players on Thursday, citing a left shoulder injury.

At noon on Thursday, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan spoke to the media and said the PGA Tour would not allow fans on the course beginning with Friday’s second round and continuing through at least the Valero Texas Open, which ends April 5.

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