Former champ out of Masters in 'sad' virus bombshell

Yahoo Sports Staff
·4-min read
Pictured here, 2017 Masters champ Sergio Garcia presents 2018 winner Patrick Reed with his green jacket.
Sergio Garcia has not missed a major golf tournament for the past 21 years. Pic: Getty

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.

'ABOUT PATRIOTISM': Icon's stunning call on Donald Trump

EMBARRASSING: Brooks Koepka opens up on WAG kiss fail

‘DIFFICULT NEWS’: Aussie golf star's positive virus test

"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."

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.

Sergio Garcia is seen here holding his 2017 Masters trophy.
The Spaniard's one and only major title came at the 2017 Masters. Pic: Getty

“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.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.