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PGA Golfer Nick Watney Withdraws From Heritage After Positive COVID-19 Test

Golfer Nick Watney takes a swing at Pebble Beach.

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 08: Nick Watney of the United States plays his shot from the 15th tee during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on February 08, 2020 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Golf is one of the first sports to return in a major way, with tournaments over the last few weekends. The RBC Heritage is currently being played on Hilton Head Island, but is at risk of a setback, with news that golfer Nick Watney has tested positive for COVID-19.

Watney arrived at the event after traveling there privately, according to the PGA. He was among the 369 players, caddies, and other on-site personnel to test negative for the coronavirus ahead of the tournament. This morning, he developed symptoms, and tested positive for the disease.

Watney has withdrawn from the event. He shot a +3 74 during the first round on Thursday. He played with Vaughn Taylor and Luke List during that round. Both are still playing during today's second round.

WJCL sports anchor

BREAKING: PGA TOUR player Nick Watney has withdrawn from the RBC Heritage prior to the second round after testing positive for COVID-19. Watney was paired with Vaughn Taylor and Luke List. @WJCLNews

— Amy Zimmer (@AmyZimmerWJCL) June 19, 2020

">Amy Zimmer broke the Watney news this afternoon. It was confirmed by others shortly thereafter, and eventually the PGA released a statement doing the same. Watney will now isolate, and the PGA is working to "implement its response plan" and identify those who've come in close contact with Watney during the tournament.

Golf is one of the sports that should be the most realistic to run during a situation like COVID-19, as players can stay distances. The first two tournaments of the season have been conducted without fans in attendance.

Hopefully Nick Watney's symptoms are not too serious and this turns out to be an isolated incident, and he and the PGA got out ahead of an outbreak. If not, it is bad news as other sports with more serious risks attempt to come back themselves.

We'll have more as its released.