Cautious Optimism For LPGA's Return After First Positive Test
Following Wednesday's news that golfer Gaby Lopez "became the first LPGA player to test positive for COVID-19" during pre-tournament testing for the Drive On Championship in Toledo, there is "both excitement and trepidation in the women's return to competition," according to Randall Mell of GOLFCHANNEL.com. The LPGA "staged just four events at the year's start, before COVID-19's threat shut down play." Thirteen LPGA events "have been canceled amid the pandemic, with a 14th appearing likely to be shut down in China," leaving 17 events on the schedule. There will be a "new checklist for players prepping their golf bags before heading to the course," which includes masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes. Per LPGA protocols, a medical doctor is "on site, or on call, to help players who test positive or feel sick." Spectators "aren't allowed in the LPGA's tournament site bubble this week." In fact, "at least the first five events of the LPGA's restart will be played without fans in attendance" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 7/29). GOLFWEEK's Beth Ann Nichols noted "no family and friends are allowed onsite" for the 54-hole event this weekend. There is "no locker room" and players "were given a debit card to buy food off-property." Masks are "worn when not inside the ropes." Many of the top-ranked South Korean players "chose to skip" the Drive On Championship and next week's Marathon Classic, "as did several British standouts" (GOLFWEEK.com, 7/29).