Westwood “not comfortable” travelling to America


With the coronavirus pandemic raging across American cities and towns, England’s Lee Westwood says it is not the right time to get on a plane to compete in the first major of 2020 . GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/SAM GREENWOOD

The United States has scrapped its 14-day quarantine for overseas PGA Tour golfers, but that’s not enough to convince former world No. 1 Lee Westwood to get on an airplane and fly to America.

The US federal government decided Friday that professional golfers no longer must quarantine for two weeks because the USPGA Tour has put in place numerous safety and health measures such as regular testing for the coronavirus.

The lifting of the restrictions opens the door for travelling non-Americans to enter the first major championship of 2020 in San Francisco on August 6 and next week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Tennessee.

But the attraction of playing in a major is not enough to sway Westwood, who said he is worried about the way the United States is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t feel it is right to jump on as plane for 12 hours,” the 34-year-old Westwood told reporters Saturday at the British Masters.

“I’m still concerned that America doesn’t take it (the virus) as seriously as the rest of the world. It still seems to be one of the hot spots for outbreaks.”

The policy change also affects incoming caddies and other essential golf personnel entering the United States. The players were notified Friday in an email.

Westwood said he suffers from athletic induced asthma.

“I’m slightly asthmatic. If I tested (positive) in Memphis I would have to stay there for two weeks. Right now there are too many ifs.”

America leads the world in COVID-19 cases with 4.17 million and deaths with over 146,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Memphis has 265 deaths and almost 18,000 cases while San Francisco has over 50 deaths and over 5,700 cases.

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