Vaccine Link to Heart Issues Forces PGA Tour to Change Testing Plans

A “Sanitize or Wash Your Hands Often” sign is seen as a caddie waits on a green during a practice round prior to the 120th U.S. Open Championship on Sep 15, 2020 at Winged Foot GC in Mamaroneck, NY. (Photo by Gregory Shamus via Getty Images)

The PGA Tour will ditch its weekly COVID-19 testing program at the end of July, following the Open Championship, irrespective of vaccination status.

Tour players will no longer be required to produce a negative test beginning with the week of the 3M Open, July 20-25.

Only players who are unvaccinated and have been flagged in the tour’s contact tracing app (i.e. come in contact with a COVID-19 positive person) will have to take a test.

“We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open,” Tyler Dennis, PGA Tour VP, wrote in a memo to players.

That statement is spin by way of exclusion.

The tour initially planned to force unvaccinated players to test weekly but with the recent news of the vaccines causing heart problems, particularly among young men (the PGA Tour’s demographic), the tour backed off.

Pro Golf Weekly was the only publication to criticize the initial plan, as well as the Jon Rahm debacle. This content was shared heavily among PGA Tour players and staff.

Also: As part of its agreement with players, the $100,000 stipend the tour paid to players who tested positive (and were forced to withdraw), will also come to an end.


  1. Good news, and about time! However, as Jon Rahm was flagged at the Memorial in the tour’s contact tracing app. and later tested positive on Saturday, it doesn’t appear that the new rule would have saved him from disqualification. Or would it?


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