Westwood ‘not comfortable’ travelling to America

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The United States (US) has scrapped its 14-day quarantine for overseas PGA Tour golfers, but that’s not enough to convince former world number one Lee Westwood to get on an airplane and fly to America.

The US federal government decided last Friday that professional golfers no longer have to quarantine for two weeks because the USPGA Tour has put in place numerous 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 US is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t feel it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours,” the 47-year-old Westwood told reporters last Saturday at the British Masters.

Lee Westwood. PHOTO: AP

“I’m still concerned that the US 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 US. The players were notified Friday in an email.

Westwood said he suffers from exercise-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 more than 50 deaths and over 5,700 cases.