It’s a 2020 tradition unlike any other: A positive test.
Today, Sergio García withdrew from The Masters, the year’s final major championship, due to a positive COVID-19 test.
García won a green jacket in 2017 and has not missed a major championship in over 20 years. He had a COVID scare earlier this year, when Nick Watney became the first PGA Tour player to contract the virus. Garcia had shared a private plane with Watney a few days before his positive test.
“Unfortunately, it had to happen to him,” Garcia said at the time of his best friend. “There’s a lot of other people that probably deserved it a lot more than him, and he’s the one that got it.” The later comment was… bizarre and used as headlines across golf media.
In a statement on social media, García wrote about his COVID diagnosis and this year’s Masters.
“On Saturday night after driving back from the Houston Open, I started feeling a bit of a sore throat and a cough,” he wrote. “The symptoms stayed with me on Sunday morning so I decided to get tested for COVID-19 and so did my wife Angela. Thankfully she tested negative, but I didn’t.”
In a subsequent post, García said, “after 21 years of not missing a Major Championship, I will sadly miss @themasters this week. The important thing is that my family and I are feeling good. We’ll come back stronger and give the green jacket a go next April 👊🏼”
One positive test won’t cancel the Masters or alter the tournament schedule in any way. The final major, which typically tees off each April, will start on Thursday at Augusta National.
On March 13, Augusta National postponed the Masters Tournament and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur due to the coronavirus. A few weeks later, the club announced that the Masters would be moved to November and the second-ever Women’s Amateur would be canceled.
Unlike last week’s PGA Tour event in Houston, the Masters will be played without spectators.