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European Tour WDs player after breaching COVID-19 protocols

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The European Tour has cracked down after a player breached COVID-19 protocols.

In a statement Wednesday, the European Tour said that it had forced American John Catlin and his caddie, Nathan Mulrooney, to withdraw from this week’s English Championship after they visited a local restaurant earlier this week. Dining outside of the tournament bubble is prohibited – even if it’s with a player’s assigned “buddy” – and Catlin was deemed to have compromised the tour’s health and safety guidelines.

Catlin was replaced in the field by Wilco Nienaber.

“I apologize to my fellow players and everyone involved with the tournament this week for this error of judgment,” Catlin said in a statement. “I understand the European Tour’s decision and accept the sanction.”

Ranked 242nd in the world, Catlin tied for 51st in last week’s Hero Open, the second leg of the European Tour’s U.K. Swing.