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PGA Tour commissioner: Tournaments won’t be played without coronavirus testing

April 17, 2020

The PGA Tour plans to return from its hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic in just under eight weeks.

It won’t do so without coronavirus testing.

“We are going to need to be able to test players, caddies and other constituents before we return, but we need to do so in a way that’s not going to take away from the critical need that we’re currently facing,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said Friday on NBC Sports Network’s “Lunch Talk Live.” “And we feel confident based on the advice that we’re getting from medical experts that we’ll be in that position.”

As the PGA Tour announced Thursday that it would resume play with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 11, chief among its concerns is the safety of those involved. From the first tournament through the end of the rescheduled Masters on Nov. 15, professional golf will be played in 26 cities, and Monahan said the Tour is thinking about “every single movement.”

“We’re thinking about what it’s going to take in advance of a player getting on property to a tournament, to every single movement a player or caddie might have over the course of a week, and thinking about what can we do to make that the safest environment possible,” Monahan said.

Along with testing, the Tour will have to work with the cities – and their restrictions due to the coronavirus – on their schedule. Monahan said the tournaments’ hosts and sponsors have strong relationships with their local and state governments and are confident play can resume. The Tour, the tournaments and the sponsors are also “highly aware” the schedule could change.

“But we really felt it was important to be able to set a starting point to showcase our schedule so our players can get ready, so our fans can feel inspired,” Monahan said.

That goal was developed in conversations with the president.

Monahan and LPGA commissioner Mike Whan took part in a conference call with President Donald Trump and 10 other league leaders earlier this month. Earlier this week, Monahan and Whan were among 100 people named to an advisory council that will help the president reopen the U.S. economy. Sports, Trump believes, plays an important role in “inspiring our country,” Monahan told CNBC’s Squawk Alley on Friday,

“The president has been very clear and very vocal about the fact that sports are going to play an important role in the revitalization and re-emergence of our country,” Monahan said during the NBC Sports Network interview. “His saying that publicly certainly made us feel confident on the path that we were on.”

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