PGA Championship participants must first test negative for virus

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Much like the PGA Tour, the PGA of America will require participants to take a COVID-19 test prior to the PGA Championship next month, while also outlining numerous recommendations for safe practices leading up to and during the week of the tournament.

The PGA Championship, which was rescheduled from May to Aug. 6-9 at Harding Park in San Francisco, will be the first of three major championships conducted in 2020, with The Open having canceled. If a player tests positive, he will not be able to participate in the championship.

The PGA also highly recommended — but does not require — players and caddies to take a COVID-19 test the week prior to leaving for the championship, according a digital handbook sent to players and obtained by ESPN.

The organization offers one hotel for players and caddies and encourages all to stay there — although it is allowing for the use of recreational vehicles and rental homes.

Family members, agents and managers will not be permitted at Harding Park, but up to two coaches as well as a physical trainer and an interpreter (if necessary) will be allowed, subject to COVID-19 testing. No one will be allowed onto the grounds prior to getting a negative result, and all of the testing will be done away from Harding Park, starting on Aug. 2.

The PGA is not allowing courtesy cars and is requiring players and caddies to rent cars; nor is shuttle service available, but courtesy transportation from the hotel will be provided to and from the course.

“The success of the PGA Championship health and well-being plan is contingent on every participant adhering to its policies,” the PGA of America wrote in its introduction. “The foundation of the plan is social distancing which is our best defense against the spread of COVID-19. Everyone is expected to maintain a proper physical distance (6 feet) at all times. We also ask that you limit your exposure by maintaining the “safer at home” philosophy throughout the Championship week while at Harding Park.”

The event will be played without spectators at Harding Park, which is where Rory McIroy won the 2015 WGC-Match Play Championship, where the U.S. defeated the International team at the 2009 Presidents Cup and where Tiger Woods won a sudden-death playoff over John Daly at the 2005 WGC-American Express Invitational.

Brooks Koepka is the defending PGA champion and is looking to win the event for the third straight year.

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