CROMWELL, Conn. — Chase Koepka, the younger brother of Brooks Koepka, has been guaranteed a place in the industry of the 2021 Travelers Championship, The Submit realized on Thursday.
Chase, who at 26 a long time old is 4 several years youthful than Brooks, the No. 4-ranked player in the earth who owns four big championships, earned a location into the tournament this 7 days at TPC River Highlands by Monday qualifying, surviving a five-person playoff for two places.
But Wednesday, immediately after it was realized that Brooks’ caddie, Ricky Elliott, had examined beneficial for COVID-19, both of those Brooks and Chase withdrew from the event as a precaution. For Brooks, simply because of his lofty standing, the withdrawal was not a main offer. To Chase, who does not have any playing status and has played in only a handful of PGA Tour situations, it was a crushing blow. Just one good effectiveness on the PGA Tour for a participant like Chase can improve his existence.
Travelers event director Nathan Grube explained to The Put up on Thursday that he reached out to Chase and explained to him he “earned’’ his way in and that, “if he wants it subsequent year’’ he’ll have a confirmed spot in the 2021 Travelers.
Shane Lowry was in the thick of the COVID-19 vortex on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Travelers Championship.
On Tuesday, the reigning British Open up winner from Ireland performed a follow spherical with Graeme McDowell and the Koepka brothers.
By Wednesday, McDowell and the Koepka brothers withdrew from the Vacationers when it was learned that the two McDowell’s caddie, Ken Comboy, and Brooks’ caddie, Elliott, had tested good for the coronavirus.
While neither McDowell nor the Koepkas examined good, all three withdrew out of precaution in circumstance they experienced been infected by the caddies but weren’t yet displaying it in a check.
Lowry was so anxious that he consulted with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on Wednesday night to make certain it was risk-free for him to have on and engage in. Monahan gave his blessing and it turned out to be a excellent point, with Lowry shoot a 4-beneath 66 on Thursday.
“I identified out on Tuesday night about Kenny, Graeme’s caddie, and I’d put in a very little little bit of time about Graeme,’’ Lowry reported. “But Graeme hadn’t viewed [Comboy] due to the fact final 7 days [Comboy didn’t make the trip to Connecticut because he wasn’t feeling well].
“Then clearly we played a observe spherical with Brooks, Chase and Ricky Elliott, who was caddying for Brooks and he examined positive [Wednesday] early morning. Ricky referred to as me himself. I could not seriously imagine it. To be sincere, I thought he was messing with me, since he variety of is like that in some cases.
“Then as the fellas pulled out, I contacted the Tour very immediately. I requested them what did they assume I ought to do for the reason that I wished to do the proper factor. But I really don’t assume I was inside of adequate call with Ricky more than the training course of the nine holes we performed on Tuesday. We’re just having precautions. I spoke to Jay [Wednesday evening] right here at the club and he explained that I’m very good to engage in. So, I’m listed here to play’’
Lowry mentioned right after two clear weeks — only Nick Watney examined positive previous 7 days — this week’s cases “have been sort of a kick in the backside to all of us and to make sure that we do the right issues when we’re out there.’’
“I’ve found a large amount of media coverage that is really adverse, and I really don’t like it,’’ he claimed. “I assume the PGA Tour, Jay, everyone concerned has performed a excellent work, and I as a skilled golfer am extremely delighted to be again to perform and to be delivering some enjoyment for some folks at house. I assume we’re quite fortunate to be back out playing.’’
Abraham Ancer had his initially occupation PGA Tour hole in one particular on the 16th hole Thursday, jarring it with an 8-iron from 156 yards. And he was struck the relative silence that accompanied it when an ace commonly elicits huge roars from the gallery. There, of program, are no spectators permitted on the golf course this week.
“It was quite anti-climactic since there was no one out there and we could not significant-5 or anything, but still, it was awesome to have my to start with PGA Tour ace,’’ he claimed. “You want to go high-five or a thing and we can not suitable now, so it was absolutely different. But I’ll choose it.’’
Tyler McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, didn’t get into the Travelers industry until the Wednesday withdrawals. He skipped the minimize at last week’s Korn Ferry Tour function and was well prepared to just take the week off. He was on his way to the Pisgah Forest close to Asheville, N.C., for a tranquil 7 days off. Then he acquired late phrase that he was in the Tourists field if he could get to Connecticut.
“I think I obtained the confirmation around 3 p.m. and the past flight out of Jacksonville was 5:30, so I had to pack up in about 25 minutes and head to the airport,’’ McCumber claimed.
He produced his flight and made the most of his chance, capturing a 5-below 65 on Thursday when playing together with defending-champion Chez Reavie and Jon Rahm.
“My brother-in-legislation drove me to the airport past minute,’’ McCumber explained. “I known as him, I’m like, ‘Hey, male, I assume I’m heading to get into the event, can you discover me a flight and perhaps give me a trip to the airport and enable me pack?’ He was Superman for me.’’