BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — In the 237 times Charles Howell III has teed it up on the PGA Tour, he never had a round end like Thursday at the AT&T National. After signing for an even-par 70, he was handed a pink slip.
Howell was among the first players chosen for testing under the tour’s Anti-Doping Program that went into effect this week.
He left the scoring area at about 5:45 p.m., and came back out to the putting green 40 minutes later. He was given a pink piece of paper showing that his sample was valid.
“I hope Gatorade Tiger passes the test,” Howell said. “Because I put two bottles in me.”
Allison Keller, a program administrator for the PGA Tour, had said earlier this week that the process was expected to take between seven and 10 minutes. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem was the first to be tested on Wednesday, and he said it took 9 1/2 minutes.
Howell said once he was sufficiently hydrated – he had just spent nearly five hours at Congressional in temperatures in the low 90s – it took about eight minutes.
Davis Love III also was tested, and Howell said Love had to go back downstairs to his locker to get his identification. The tour does not disclose who gets tested, although Howell figured he was not the first.
“They have a sink to wash your hands, and there were a half-dozen towels piled up in the corner,” he said.
The National Center for Drug Free Sport, which administers the anti-doping program, is to notify the tour’s administrator when the results have been analyzed.
Howell said earlier in the week he was tested every year when he played at Oklahoma State and doesn’t expect any surprises in golf.
“I don’t think any player is on the PGA Tour is taking something they shouldn’t be taking,” he said. “The only thing that concerns me is the accidental thing. I don’t think we have guys trying to get ahead of the system.”