DUBLIN, Ohio – It was an emotional 45 minutes for Denny McCarthy on Saturday at the Memorial.
After grinding his way to 1 under for the day through 14 brutal holes, he limped home with a pair of double bogeys and a bogey for a third-round 76. Not good.
But his mood quickly shifted, however slightly, before signing his scorecard when he was informed by a PGA Tour official the coronavirus test he took early Saturday had come back negative and he would be removed from what is being called the “timed out” policy.
The Tour announced a clarification last week that followed CDC guidelines for players who test positive and have undergone 10 days of isolation and 72 hours without any fever or respiratory issues but continue to test positive. Those players or caddies are now allowed to return to competition under certain restrictions.
One of those restrictions is that they can only play with those in the “timed out” policy or alone, which is what McCarthy had to do for Round 3 at Muirfield Village.
“It was good, especially since the doctor thought it could go on for a little while,” said McCarthy of his negative test. “It was pretty odd today going out as a one-some. It's been a weird couple weeks, but obviously glad to hear the news. Glad to get back to a somewhat normal atmosphere in this crazy time.”
Harris English and Dylan Frittelli are also in the “timed out” policy and played as singles on Saturday. Both players retested after Friday’s second round and both remained positive.
“You kind of feel like an outcast a little bit on Tour,” English said. “I mean, I understand it. This virus is still so new and I'm about three weeks out of a positive test in Detroit, so I feel like I've fully recovered.”
Frittelli was tied for 18th place after a third-round 74 and said he has now taken six tests since his original positive result at the Travelers Championship and they’ve all come back positive.
“I have a friend in Japan and he's been a month in [positive for COVID-19] and he still hasn't tested negative,” Frittelli said. “I'm ready for the long haul here, and I'll be playing next week. Hopefully I can get that test sooner rather than later. But I'm not worried, I’ll keep testing and we'll wait and see.”