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Posted May 22, 2020 12:05 pm
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Adam Scott joins Fleetwood & Westwood in planning to sit out PGA Tour restart

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    Scott [ANDREW DAVIS TUCKER/FOR THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE]

One day ago, PGA Tour veteran Charley Hoffman said that all the players on Tour were on board with the measures being put in place to address COVID-19 and restart the season on June 11.

“We wouldn’t have gone through with this if we didn’t have the consent from the players,” Hoffman, chairman of the Tour’s Player Advisory Council, said in a conference call. “I can say that every single player we have talked to is comfortable how (the plan) was laid out.”

Hoffman may need to upgrade his long-distance calling plan because international stars Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood have all expressed concerns about returning to competition. According to the Tour, they are among an estimated 25 players currently living outside the U.S., who would require a mandatory 14-day quarantine period before returning to competition.

“I’m not going to travel to America and stay away for four months,” said Fleetwood, who is based in England. “That is simply not a consideration.”

Fellow Englishman Lee Westwood echoed the same sentiment in an interview with Golf Channel.

“Right now I won’t be playing them, not with having to leave here two weeks before, quarantine, then play the two tournaments, then come back here and quarantine again,” Westwood said. “It’s six weeks for two tournaments, and to me that’s just not worth it. And it’s not worth taking the risk if everybody thinks that those kind of precautions have got to be in place. I don’t feel like golf’s a priority if it’s that severe.”

Scott, who returned home to Queensland, Australia, following the March 12 cancellation of the Players Championship, isn’t rushing back to work either. He told the Australian Associated Press that he was concerned with the Tour’s COVID-19 testing, and that efforts to keep players in a tight bubble may not be thorough enough. Therefore, he is likely to skip the first six events on the Tour’s revised schedule.

“They are being fairly thorough, but my initial reaction was I was surprised it wasn’t tighter than it is,” Scott told AAP. “What concerns me is dialogue that (the Tour) is hopeful of returning one or two-hour test (results). You’d want that in place before competing.

“The other (concern) is it seems an asymptomatic person could operate within a tournament. If they’re not showing symptons and I somehow picked it up inside the course and I’m disqualified I’m now self-isolating (in that city) for two weeks. I’d be annoyed if that happened. I thought you’d start quite tight and loosen those protocols to normal if appropriate.”

As a result, Scott said he may delay his return until the World Golf Championships FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee starting July 30. The PGA Championship is scheduled to be held the following week. Scott also intends to stay in the country through the U.S. Open, which would make for a nine-week sprint.