HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – During the hectic days in March before COVID-19 halted play on the PGA Tour, C.T. Pan was the first player to respond to the growing pandemic.
Pan withdrew from The Players prior to the first round, citing concerns over the coronavirus. Twenty-four hours later, the Tour halted its schedule for three months.
“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,” Pan tweeted on March 12. “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.”
Pan returned to competition with the rest of the Tour last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge, where he missed the cut, and is the defending champion this week at the RBC Heritage.
“Back in March, that was a really tough decision for me, but for the safety of my family and myself, my wife – and we think that's the right call to pull myself out early,” said Pan, who is traveling from tournament to tournament in a newly purchased RV to reduce the risk of exposure through flying and staying in hotels. “Honestly, The Players Championship is the biggest event on the PGA Tour, and a lot of people come to watch. It's not a good spot to be a lot of times.”
The RBC Heritage is currently one of seven Tour events scheduled to be played without fans.
Pan said he built an indoor driving range in his garage to help stay sharp during quarantine and he also created a YouTube channel to help pass the time.
“Kind of just to share golf tips with my fans," he said of his YouTube channel, "so that went well and people love it."