HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The PGA Tour’s first positive COVID-19 test hasn’t shaken the confidence players have in the circuit’s safety protocols.
After back-to-back weeks without a positive test to restart its schedule, Nick Watney’s positive test Friday set off contact tracing and additional testing. Eleven tests were administered after Watney tested positive and all were negative for coronavirus.
“I feel very safe. I wouldn't be playing if I didn't,” Justin Thomas said. “The Tour has done all the protocols they can. Unfortunately, you can't control guys going to get something to eat or whatever it might be, if you're staying in a hotel or room service or whatever it might be.”
If anything, players are concerned over how busy Hilton Head Island has been this week. On Thursday, Beaufort County set a record for most new cases reported in a single day with 48 — 15 higher than the previous record set just days before.
“No offense to Hilton Head, but they're seeming to not take it very seriously. It's an absolute zoo around here. There's people everywhere,” Thomas said. “The beaches are absolutely packed. Every restaurant, from what I've seen when I've been driving by, is absolutely crowded.
“Unfortunately, that's not on [Watney] because I know he's very cautious and has done everything he can, but I would say a lot of people in this area of Hilton Head just aren't.”