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Westwood rules out playing in US PGA Championship due to coronavirus

By Peter Thompson

Newcastle, July 26: Lee Westwood will not play in the US PGA Championship next month as he is concerned "America doesn't take coronavirus as seriously as the rest of the world".

The lifting of a two-week quarantine for players and caddies upon arrival in the United States in order to compete on the PGA Tour will not tempt Westwood to cross the Atlantic.

Westwood has the option of entering a bio-secure bubble for the first major of the year, which will be staged behind closed doors at Harding Park, San Francisco from August 6-9.

The former world number one says he does not feel comfortable about the prospect of travelling to the USA, where there have been over four million confirmed COVID-19 cases and well in excess of 100,000 deaths.

"I'm concerned that America doesn't take coronavirus as seriously as the rest of the world," said the Englishman.

He added: "I still don't feel comfortable and I don't feel it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours.

"I can control me not getting the virus and take all the measures I can, but somebody might pass it on. I don't really want to get ill with it and I'm slightly asthmatic.

"There are too many what ifs. If you take all of them into consideration, there is something wrong."

Westwood was speaking at the British Masters at Close House Golf Club on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne, where he was the tournament host of the first full European Tour event since March.

Italian Renato Paratore won the event, which was staged without spectators, by three shots on Saturday.

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Story first published: Sunday, July 26, 2020, 1:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 26, 2020
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