Adam Scott: PGA Tour's Current Safety Protocols Are Too Lax
Golfer Adam Scott is “unsatisfied with the … PGA Tour's safety measures,” and will not play in the Tour’s first six tournaments back, according to Evin Priest of the AAP. Scott, who is in Australia during the shutdown, said, “They are being fairly thorough, but my initial reaction was I was surprised it wasn't tighter than it is. What concerns me is dialogue that (the tour) is hopeful of returning one or two-hour test (results). You'd want that in place before competing. The other (concern) is it seems an asymptomatic person could operate within a tournament. If they're not showing symptons and I somehow picked it up inside the course and I'm disqualified I'm now self-isolating (in that city) for two weeks. I'd be annoyed if that happened. I thought you'd start quite tight and loosen those protocols to normal if appropriate." Priest noted the Tour’s safety precautions include “layers of coronavirus testing for players, caddies and support personnel as well as using chartered flights between events” (AAP, 5/20).
SIGN OF THINGS TO COME? Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard predicted Scott's comments are “going to be echoed by other players, particularly international players.” Hoggard: “If you compare what the PGA Tour’s health and safety plan is to other professional leagues -- I mean the NBA reported last week that they’re going need somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,000 tests to get back to playing. Granted, basketball is much different than golf. But if you compare it, if the PGA Tour needs about 400 test a week, which is what we were told, that's about 5,000 tests by the end of the season. It’s not even close." Hoggard acknowledged the Tour does not have a "perfect plan" and notes it is "trying to work with this in a bubble, to create this bubble." Hoggard: "It's going to change as we go along, and I would expect the protocols to maybe tighten up as we get closer to Colonial and then further into the season” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 5/21).
ALWAYS LOOKING TO IMPROVE: Golfer Charley Hoffman notes the PGA Tour's policies are "not set in stone and we’re not acting like we have all the answers.” Hoffman, the Chair of the 16-member Player Advisory Council, said of the current safety plan, "It’s very comprehensive and detailed but I wouldn’t say it’s the end-all by any means.” However, he believes that the Tour has "prepared as well as it could for the restart" next month at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Ft. Worth (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/21).