Shane Lowry will be tested for coronavirus before returning to competitive action
2019 Open champion Shane Lowry will take a home Covid-19 test in order to get the all-clear to return to competitive golf. Other golfers on the PGA Tour will be required to get tested before travelling and taking part in tournaments.
Lowry revealed the testing regime when speaking to the Paddy Power website recently.
"I’m so happy to be back playing competitive golf again, we’re just days away from getting back in the swing of things," the Clara man said.
"It’s great that the Tour starts back on Thursday with the Charles Schwab Challenge. I can only speak for myself, but I’m just very happy to be going back to playing some competitive golf again. And it’s going to be some start to the season.
"It seems like everybody is playing the first three tournaments so there’ll be big fields and all the top players will be there. Obviously, everyone is coming back after a long layoff from the Tour so we’ll just see how it goes. But there will be great line-ups and hopefully, it’ll all go smoothly and comes across well on TV.
"It’s an opportunity for golf to get out there and showcase itself a little bit more. People are craving live sport, so getting golf back on TV will be good, especially as it was looking pretty gloomy for a while after the season got postponed on day one of the Players Championship in March.
"Nobody expected that, but suddenly everything snowballed and the US Masters at Augusta got postponed as did all the other Major Championships. It looked like the whole season would be lost. Now at least we’re just days away from getting back into the swing of things."
Speaking about the measures taken to get the sport back up and running, Shane said: "The PGA Tour have obviously done a huge amount of work and a great job at getting us back in action. But it’s going to be very different than before though, there’s no doubt about it. There’s a lot of procedures to observe. I’ve a load of documentation about the protocols in place and what we have to do.
"The biggest thing is that everybody involved in the upcoming tournaments will have to take a Covid-19 test first. I’ve a home-test kit to use three days before I’m due to leave for the tournaments and it has to come back negative before I’m even allowed to travel. The results come back within 48 hours of that test and once it’s negative, I’m good to go.
"When we’re at the venue, which this week is the Charles Schwab Challenge, we’ll all be cocooned in the same hotels and will have to follow all the different protocols that go with that. I’ll be getting my temperature taken and getting tested quite a lot pre and post-tournament, so it is going to take a bit of getting used to. There’ll be constant testing.
"The PGA Tour has charter planes flying everyone involved from event to event, so players, caddies and support staff will be on them."
Lowry gets back to competitive golf this Thursday and you can follow his progress on www.offalyexpress.ie