Coronavirus pandemic

Positive virus test casts a pall over LPGA restart

TOLEDO (Ohio) • Five months after Covid-19 halted the LPGA season after only four events, the Tour returns to competition today without Gaby Lopez after she became the first LPGA player to test positive for the virus.

The world No. 44 has withdrawn from the 54-hole Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio, and is self-isolating.

"I was very excited to get back to playing on Tour after this long break and while I'm disappointed I'll have to wait a little longer, I'm glad I was able to get tested and to make sure I do not put anyone else at risk," the 26-year-old two-time LPGA Tour winner said in a statement.

"I am self-isolating and will be following all the CDC and LPGA guidelines to get back to competing on Tour in a safe manner. I'm feeling good and looking forward to when I can return to playing on Tour."

She added on Twitter that she is "feeling good and have only very mild symptoms".

The Tour said Lopez would quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and would undergo another Covid-19 test before being allowed to compete again.

She was the only positive result to come out of coronavirus testing on Monday and the Tour is confident in safety measures and hopeful of finishing the campaign.

A field of 144 at Iverness Club will end a 166-day break.

The Marathon Classic will be staged next week without fans at nearby Sylvania, Ohio, so players can have a bubble of sorts before heading to Scotland for next month's Scottish Open and Women's British Open, the first Major of the year, at Royal Troon.

"Being here, it feels even more real and hopefully we have a prolonged stretch of golf coming up and we can play the rest of the season," England's Bronte Law said.

"The LPGA is doing everything they can to provide an environment that's safe for us and the community around us.

TAKING NECESSARY STEPS

While I'm disappointed I'll have to wait a little longer, I'm glad I was able to get tested and to make sure I do not put anyone else at risk.

GABY LOPEZ , world No. 44 who became the first LPGA player to test positive for Covid-19. The Tour restarts today at the Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio.

 

"This (course) will be a really good test. It gets a little windy out there and there are some elevation changes. You have to be smart.

"After not playing for a while, being thrown in at the deep end will certainly be a challenge but one everybody is certainly ready for."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2020, with the headline 'Positive virus test casts a pall over LPGA restart '. Print Edition | Subscribe