Vaccinated Bubba Watson WDs From The Open After Being Traced to COVID Positive Person

Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson reacts to his birdie putt on the 17th green during the third round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 26, 2021 in Cromwell, Conn. (Photo by Drew Hallowell via Getty Images)

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson has officially withdrawn from The Open Championship after being traced to a person who’d tested positive for COVID-19.

Watson has been vaccinated.

Watson has tested negative for COVID.

Yet he’s out of the season’s final major because he came in contact with someone.

Watson will be replaced in the 149th Open field by Brendan Steele.

In a statement via Twitter, Watson said, “While I am vaccinated, and have passed the required pre-travel COVID test, not enough time has passed for me to comfortably join the charter flight and risk exposure to the other players and personnel on board.”

As we’ve noted in a recent post, the protocols put in place by the R&A are over the top and nonsensical. Especially relative to testing and tracing:

  1. Players must have negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arriving in the U.K., regardless of vaccination status.
  2. Players can also be DQ’d if contact tracing determines they’ve been in close proximity to a person who tests positive, regardless of vaccination status. For example, if someone on a players’ plane tests positive on the way to the Open and is anywhere close to the player, or team member, they are immediately disqualified.

On the U.S. PGA Tour, Watson would be immune from both testing and tracing as he’s been vaccinated.

The news on Watson follows the announcement by Hideki Matsuyama who also withdrew due to COVID related issues.

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