Brooks Koepka Withdrawing from Travelers Championship After Caddie Tests Positive for COVID-19

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No. 4-ranked Brooks Koepka is withdrawing from the Travelers Championship after his caddie, Ricky Elliot, tested positive for COVID-19, the golfer confirmed in a statement on Wednesday. 

Elliot, who previously tested negative for the coronavirus on Monday upon arriving at TPC River Highlands, received his positive COVID-19 diagnosis after a test Wednesday morning. The PGA Tour event is scheduled to begin on Thursday.

“I’m going to pull out to protect everybody else. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Koepka said, per Golfweek. “I don’t want to risk anyone’s life if they have respiratory issues or underlying conditions. The only way this Tour can continue is if guys to do this sort of thing and be proactive about it.”

In a press conference on Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the Travelers Championship will go on as scheduled and addressed the low number of positive tests thus far. In addition, he said the Tour will increase health and safety measures. 

"We need to learn to live with this virus," Monahan said. "This virus isn’t going anywhere. ... You’re going to have more [positive] tests going forward."

Elliot's positive COVID-19 test on the PGA Tour follows a withdrawal from Graeme McDowell, whose caddie, Ken Comboy, also tested positive. Koepka, Elliot and coach Claude Harmon III were re-tested on Wednesday after they played a practice round with McDowell on Tuesday, while Comboy remains isolated in Florida. 

“We all got tested Monday—myself, Claude and Ricky. We all came back negative,” Koepka said, per Golfweek. “We had no symptoms. Nothing.”

A total of five golfers are withdrawing from the Travelers Championship, Monahan announced. Koepka joins McDowell, Cameron Champ, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, Webb Simpson, who won the RBC Heritage on Sunday, and Chase Koepka among those who have withdrawn. Both Simpson and Chase, Brooks's brother, tested negative for the coronavirus but decided against playing "out of an abundance of caution."

Nick Watney became the first PGA Tour player to test positive for the coronavirus last week. 

Koepka recorded a seventh-place finish, -18, in the RBC Heritage on June 21. The PGA Tour resumed on June 11 with the Charles Schwab Challenge without fans following a three-month layoff due to the coronavirus.