CROMWELL, Conn. — Chase Koepka, the young brother of Brooks Koepka, has been assured a spot in the area of the 2021 Travelers Championship, The Submit discovered on Thursday.
Chase, who at 26 yrs outdated is four a long time more youthful than Brooks, the No. 4-rated player in the entire world who owns 4 main championships, gained a spot into the match this week at TPC River Highlands by Monday qualifying, surviving a five-gentleman playoff for two spots.
But Wednesday, immediately after it was acquired that Brooks’ caddie, Ricky Elliott, experienced tested optimistic for COVID-19, equally Brooks and Chase withdrew from the tournament as a precaution. For Brooks, simply because of his lofty status, the withdrawal was not a important deal. To Chase, who doesn’t have any playing position and has played in only a handful of PGA Tour gatherings, it was a crushing blow. Just one very good general performance on the PGA Tour for a participant like Chase can alter his lifetime.
Travelers tournament director Nathan Grube instructed The Post on Thursday that he achieved out to Chase and explained to him he “earned’’ his way in and that, “if he wants it next year’’ he’ll have a assured place in the 2021 Tourists.
Shane Lowry was in the thick of the COVID-19 vortex on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Vacationers Championship.
On Tuesday, the reigning British Open up champion from Eire played a follow spherical with Graeme McDowell and the Koepka brothers.
By Wednesday, McDowell and the Koepka brothers withdrew from the Vacationers when it was uncovered that each McDowell’s caddie, Ken Comboy, and Brooks’ caddie, Elliott, experienced analyzed positive for the coronavirus.
Although neither McDowell nor the Koepkas analyzed constructive, all three withdrew out of precaution in circumstance they experienced been contaminated by the caddies but weren’t but exhibiting it in a take a look at.
Lowry was so worried that he consulted with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on Wednesday evening to make certain it was secure for him to have on and enjoy. Monahan gave his blessing and it turned out to be a excellent thing, with Lowry shoot a 4-beneath 66 on Thursday.
“I identified out on Tuesday evening about Kenny, Graeme’s caddie, and I’d invested a small little bit of time close to Graeme,’’ Lowry explained. “But Graeme hadn’t noticed [Comboy] given that very last 7 days [Comboy didn’t make the trip to Connecticut because he wasn’t feeling well].
“Then clearly we played a observe round with Brooks, Chase and Ricky Elliott, who was caddying for Brooks and he tested positive [Wednesday] morning. Ricky termed me himself. I couldn’t really consider it. To be truthful, I considered he was messing with me, simply because he kind of is like that at times.
“Then as the men pulled out, I contacted the Tour fairly promptly. I requested them what did they believe I should do because I needed to do the right thing. But I really don’t consider I was in plenty of speak to with Ricky around the study course of the nine holes we played on Tuesday. We’re just taking safety measures. I spoke to Jay [Wednesday evening] listed here at the club and he stated that I’m good to play. So, I’m listed here to play’’
Lowry explained right after two clear weeks — only Nick Watney tested beneficial final week — this week’s scenarios “have been type of a kick in the bottom to all of us and to make absolutely sure that we do the ideal matters when we’re out there.’’
“I’ve viewed a ton of media protection that is fairly adverse, and I really do not like it,’’ he said. “I assume the PGA Tour, Jay, everyone involved has finished a wonderful occupation, and I as a qualified golfer am really satisfied to be back again to perform and to be providing some entertainment for some folks at home. I assume we’re extremely fortunate to be back again out participating in.’’
Abraham Ancer experienced his very first profession PGA Tour hole in a single on the 16th gap Thursday, jarring it with an 8-iron from 156 yards. And he was struck the relative silence that accompanied it when an ace typically elicits big roars from the gallery. There, of training course, are no spectators allowed on the golf study course this 7 days.
“It was extremely anti-climactic due to the fact there was no person out there and we couldn’t superior-5 or anything at all, but even now, it was magnificent to have my to start with PGA Tour ace,’’ he said. “You want to go large-five or some thing and we can not suitable now, so it was surely diverse. But I’ll get it.’’
Tyler McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, did not get into the Travelers field until the Wednesday withdrawals. He missed the slash at past week’s Korn Ferry Tour party and was organized to choose the 7 days off. He was on his way to the Pisgah Forest around Asheville, N.C., for a quiet 7 days off. Then he received late word that he was in the Travelers industry if he could get to Connecticut.
“I believe I received the confirmation all-around 3 p.m. and the final flight out of Jacksonville was 5:30, so I experienced to pack up in about 25 minutes and head to the airport,’’ McCumber stated.
He made his flight and created the most of his prospect, shooting a 5-below 65 on Thursday even though playing together with defending-winner Chez Reavie and Jon Rahm.
“My brother-in-law drove me to the airport past moment,’’ McCumber stated. “I known as him, I’m like, ‘Hey, guy, I consider I’m heading to get into the match, can you come across me a flight and possibly give me a journey to the airport and enable me pack?’ He was Superman for me.’’