Two European Tour golfers reportedly quarantined over coronavirus threat
***UPDATE: Golfweek is reporting that both Edoardo Molinari and Lorenzo Gagli have been granted re-entry into the field at the Oman Open after Gagli’s coronavirus test came back negative. Both players will be participating in this week’s event.***
Former Ryder Cupper Edoardo Molinari and another Italian golfer, Lorenzo Gagli, were forced to withdraw on Wednesday from the European Tour’s Oman Open after they were reportedly quarantined to determine whether they have the coronavirus.
According to an AP report, Gagli told Italian newspaper La Nazione that he was told by a European Tour doctor to return to his room for a week (on order of the Oman health ministry). Molinari, who was Gagli’s roommate in Muscat this week, was relocated to another room.
Gagli, 34, said he was tested and told that the result would be available in two days, but that he would have to remain in his room until next Wednesday, forcing him to also withdraw from next week’s Qatar Masters.
“It’s an inexplicable decision,” Gagli told La Nazione. “Only us two have been excluded from the tournament, but I arrived in Muscat [Oman] last Sunday, and over the last few days, I’ve worked out in the gym with dozens of other players. I ate with them and traveled by bus with them.
“If there was a risk of contagion, then they would have to isolate dozens of golfers and cancel the tournament.”
In an email to the AP, a European Tour spokesman said only that Gagli and Molinari have withdrawn from the Oman Open on “medical grounds.”
Molinari, 39, is the brother of 2018 British Open champion Francesco Molinari.
Italy has reported 447 cases of the coronavirus, the most of any country outside Asia. Twelve people infected with the virus have died in Italy since Friday, all of them elderly, having other health conditions or both, civil protection chief Angelo Borelli told the AP.
The coronavirus has previously caused cancellation or postponement of several tournaments.
Two weeks ago, the European Tour postponed the April 16-19 Maybank Championship in Malaysia and the following week’s Volvo China Open. The Tour has not determined whether the tournaments will receive a new spot on the schedule this season.
The coronavirus has affected three LPGA Tour tournaments. Two weeks ago, it canceled two tournaments in Asia — the Honda LPGA Thailand and HSBC Women’s World Championship — because of the outbreak, and the Tour previously canceled the Blue Bay LPGA on Hainan Island in China.
And the LPGA Tour of Japan announced last week that because of safety concerns, it will play next week’s Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament in Okinawa without a gallery, which is believed to be the first professional golf event to be played in its entirety without spectators.
Gagli says he and Molinari have suffered “serious economic damage.”
“I feel fine,” he told La Nazione. “I just have a cold.”
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