ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Bubba Watson were forced to withdraw from the British Open on Sunday.
Matsuyama tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on July 2 and has been self-isolating since. He is currently symptom-free but subsequent tests have continued to show positive results, British Open organizer the R&A said.
Hours later, Watson had to pull out after being identified as a close contact of someone testing positive for COVID-19.
“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,” Watson said in a statement on Twitter.
American golfers Harold Varner and Brandon Steele have come off the reserve list and will play at Royal St. George’s next week.
A total of nine players have now withdrawn from the British Open for various reasons.