South Africa’s Branden Grace became the eighth PGA Tour player to test positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, causing him to withdraw before the third round of the Barracuda Championship.
Grace, 32 finished the second round tied for second behind leader Kyle Stanley in the modified-Stableford scoring event at Tahoe Mountain Club in Truckee, California.
“I felt great all week,” Grace said in a statement released by the PGA Tour. “Last night, I was tired and thought it had to do with the altitude. This morning, I notified the PGA Tour about my symptoms before going to the golf course. I wanted to get tested out of respect for my peers and everyone involved with the tournament. While it is unfortunate given my position on the leaderboard, the most important thing is our health.”
The PGA Tour said Grace, the No. 79-ranked player in the world, will have to self-isolate for 10 days. That knocks him out of next week’s PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, the lone major during the abbreviated season. He had two previous top-five finishes in the event.
Grace currently ranks No. 156 in the FedEx Cup standings; the top 125 qualify for the playoffs. He might be eligible to return for the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Aug. 13-16, the week before the FedEx Cup begins in Boston.
Grace’s caddie tested negative for the coronavirus, according to the tour, and would have to quarantine for 14 days under CDC guidelines and the tour’s health and safety protocols.
Grayson Murray was the lone golfer to test positive before last week’s 3M Open in Minneapolis, according to the tour. Each week, approximately 300-310 tests are administered to players and caddies. Now in the eighth week of the tour’s restart after a break due to the coronavirus pandemic, there have been eight players and three caddies who have tested positive out of more than 2,000 tests.