Branden Grace withdraws from middle of PGA event with COVID-19 while in 2nd place

Jason Owens
·2-min read

Branden Grace withdrew from this weekend’s Barracuda Championship on Saturday with COVID-19.

Grace was tied for second place with Matthias Schwab and Robert Streb after 36 holes when he withdrew. His 10 birdies and one eagle were good enough for +20, which is a good score in the Truckee, California tournament using Stableford scoring.

Grace wrote in a statement that he felt fine all week but decided to get tested when he felt fatigued after Friday’s round.

“I felt great all week,” Grace wrote. “Last night, I was tired and thought it had to do with the altitude. This morning, I notified the PGA Tour about my symptoms before going to the golf course.

“I wanted to get tested out of respect for my peers and everyone involved with the tournament. While it is unfortunate given my position on the leaderboard, the most important thing is our health.”

Branden Grace hits off the tee.
Branden Grace self-reported his symptoms knowing it could cost him a six-figure payday and a shot in next week's PGA Championship. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Costly diagnosis for Grace

The Barracuda Championship has a $3.5 million prize pool. Second place pays $381,500. First place takes home $630,000.

Grace made the decision to report his health status and undergo testing Saturday morning knowing what was at stake. He’s required to enter a 10-day period of self-isolation after his diagnosis.

The diagnosis will also cost Grace a shot at next week’s PGA Championship, the first major on the COVID-19-delayed 2020 calendar. Grace finished third in the 2015 PGA Championship and fourth in 2016,

Of course, Grace made the proper decision for not only his health, but those around him on the PGA Tour and elsewhere. He becomes the eighth PGA player to test positive for COVID-19.

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