Sergio Garcia’s extraordinary run of major appearances is set to end after he pulled out of this week's Masters tournament because of a positive test for COVID-19.
Garcia began experiencing a sore throat and a cough on Saturday while driving back from the Houston Open, where he missed the cut, and got tested on Sunday.
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"After 21 years of not missing a Major Championship, I will sadly miss @themasters this week," the 40-year-old Spaniard wrote on Twitter.
"The important thing is that my family and I are feeling good. We'll come back stronger and give the green jacket a go next April."
After 21 years of not missing a Major Championship, I will sadly miss @themasters this week. The important thing is that my family and I are feeling good. We’ll come back stronger and give the green jacket a go next April 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/Ofpq1hBGYu
— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) November 9, 2020
The 11-time PGA Tour winner said his wife tested negative for the coronavirus, which has infected more than 10 million people in the United States, the country with the highest known number of COVID-19 cases.
The Masters was postponed from April to November due to the pandemic, which hit the professional sports calendar and forced the PGA Tour into hiatus for several weeks.
The Masters, which Garcia won in 2017 to claim his only major, begins at Augusta National on Thursday.
According to the PGA Tour, Garcia is the 18th player to test positive for COVID-19 since the resumption of competition in June.
Australia's Adam Scott - himself a former Masters champion after winning at Augusta in 2013 - said it's particularly "tough" on Garcia not to be able to compete.
Scott, who missed two starts last month after testing positive for coronavirus, said it was a "terrible" scenario for the 2017 champion.
“It seems like almost one guy a week, or maybe just a bit more, test positive, and there's going to be a couple here," Scott lamented.
"For Sergio, a past champion, it's got to be tough to miss out.”
Long run of majors comes to an end for Garcia
Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said the enigmatic Spaniard would be missed at the famed course in Georgia.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to Sergio and his family, we will miss him greatly, one of our great former winners here at the Masters.”
Garcia's withdrawal ends an astonishing run of 84 consecutive golfing majors that the 40-year-old has played in.
Social media was flooded with reaction from disappointed fans after the unfortunate news was confirmed.
Sergio Garcia has informed Augusta National Golf Club that he will not participate in the 2020 Masters Tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test result. pic.twitter.com/SdIlomCrNT
— The Masters (@TheMasters) November 9, 2020
Sergio Garcia's streak of playing in 84 consecutive major championships will end this week after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Masters. https://t.co/TpLOL5tuxF
— Brotips (@brotips) November 10, 2020
Sad day for Sergio. This is the first time Sergio Garcia has missed a major championship since the 1999 U.S. Open.
He out due to Covid.
— #StatsAndFacts Valentine (@C_Valentine24) November 9, 2020
Sad news out of the PGA Tour: Sergio Garcia will not participate as he's tested positive for COVID-19
— Sports with BJ Podcast (@SportswithBJ) November 9, 2020
Damn that's gotta be heartbreaking for him.
— Daniel (@golf__Daniel) November 9, 2020
Dam! Be safe Sergio
— Simon Xavier (@xavsim71) November 9, 2020
@TheSergioGarcia Sorry to hear. Get well soon!
— You can't change what you can't measure (@passionatewhy) November 9, 2020
Prayers to you Sergio!!
— Mick Drath (@Dakotakid21) November 9, 2020
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