McIlroy: ‘You hear one or two positive tests and people start panicking’

Rory McIlroy reckons it would have been “silly” to shut down the Travelers Championship after “one or two” positive Covid-19 tests.

McIlroy said he supported the PGA Tour’s decision to go ahead with this week’s event at TPC River Highlands, and that as far as he was concerned, there was no need to panic.

Nick Watney became the first player to test positive during the RBC Heritage last week, and three further positive tests were recorded ahead of this week’s tour stop in Connecticut.

American golfer Cameron Champ, Graeme McDowell’s caddie Ken Comboy and Brooks Koepka’s caddie Ricky Elliott were all found to have the virus, and the three affected players were forced to withdraw from the tournament along with Koepka’s brother Chase and Webb Simpson, who had been in close contact with those testing positive.

The PGA Tour has come under intense scrutiny and criticism for the number of positive tests cropping up, but McIlroy doesn’t feel it’s deserved.

“You hear one or two positive tests and people are panicking,” said the World No 1, who opened his account at the Travelers Championship with a 63 to grab a share of second place.

“I saw a couple of calls to shut the tournament down, which is silly from my point of view.”

McIlroy said he doesn’t see the number of positive tests at this stage as a genuine cause for concern.

“There’s been almost 3 000 tests administered, and the percentage of positive tests… it’s under a quarter of a percent,” he added.

“I think as a whole it’s been going really well.

“There’s a couple of loose ends that we needed to tidy up and I think we’ve done that.”