CROMWELL, Conn. — Chase Koepka, the younger brother of Brooks Koepka, has been confirmed a place in the discipline of the 2021 Vacationers Championship, The Post learned on Thursday.
Chase, who at 26 several years previous is 4 many years more youthful than Brooks, the No. 4-ranked participant in the environment who owns four key championships, attained a spot into the event this 7 days at TPC River Highlands by Monday qualifying, surviving a five-male playoff for two places.
But Wednesday, following it was discovered that Brooks’ caddie, Ricky Elliott, experienced examined constructive for COVID-19, both of those Brooks and Chase withdrew from the event as a precaution. For Brooks, mainly because of his lofty status, the withdrawal wasn’t a major offer. To Chase, who does not have any actively playing status and has played in only a handful of PGA Tour activities, it was a crushing blow. A single superior performance on the PGA Tour for a player like Chase can transform his existence.
Travelers event director Nathan Grube told The Submit on Thursday that he reached out to Chase and told him he “earned’’ his way in and that, “if he demands it upcoming year’’ he’ll have a assured spot in the 2021 Travelers.
Shane Lowry was in the thick of the COVID-19 vortex on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Travelers Championship.
On Tuesday, the reigning British Open champion from Ireland played a observe round with Graeme McDowell and the Koepka brothers.
By Wednesday, McDowell and the Koepka brothers withdrew from the Travelers when it was discovered that both equally McDowell’s caddie, Ken Comboy, and Brooks’ caddie, Elliott, had tested positive for the coronavirus.
When neither McDowell nor the Koepkas examined constructive, all a few withdrew out of precaution in case they experienced been infected by the caddies but weren’t nevertheless displaying it in a check.
Lowry was so anxious that he consulted with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on Wednesday evening to make guaranteed it was protected for him to have on and perform. Monahan gave his blessing and it turned out to be a superior matter, with Lowry shoot a 4-underneath 66 on Thursday.
“I discovered out on Tuesday evening about Kenny, Graeme’s caddie, and I’d invested a minor little bit of time about Graeme,’’ Lowry explained. “But Graeme hadn’t observed [Comboy] considering the fact that final 7 days [Comboy didn’t make the trip to Connecticut because he wasn’t feeling well].
“Then definitely we played a practice spherical with Brooks, Chase and Ricky Elliott, who was caddying for Brooks and he analyzed optimistic [Wednesday] early morning. Ricky named me himself. I could not truly feel it. To be genuine, I believed he was messing with me, due to the fact he variety of is like that in some cases.
“Then as the men pulled out, I contacted the Tour really rapidly. I requested them what did they imagine I should do for the reason that I desired to do the right issue. But I don’t imagine I was inside of plenty of call with Ricky over the class of the nine holes we played on Tuesday. We’re just having safety measures. I spoke to Jay [Wednesday evening] here at the club and he explained that I’m fantastic to enjoy. So, I’m listed here to play’’
Lowry mentioned soon after two clean months — only Nick Watney examined optimistic last 7 days — this week’s instances “have been variety of a kick in the bottom to all of us and to make confident that we do the suitable items when we’re out there.’’
“I’ve witnessed a lot of media coverage that is really detrimental, and I really do not like it,’’ he stated. “I consider the PGA Tour, Jay, everyone concerned has done a wonderful work, and I as a professional golfer am pretty pleased to be again to operate and to be giving some entertainment for some persons at house. I imagine we’re extremely blessed to be back out participating in.’’
Abraham Ancer had his initially career PGA Tour hole in one particular on the 16th hole Thursday, jarring it with an 8-iron from 156 yards. And he was struck the relative silence that accompanied it when an ace commonly elicits large roars from the gallery. There, of class, are no spectators authorized on the golfing training course this 7 days.
“It was quite anti-climactic since there was no one out there and we couldn’t high-five or everything, but even now, it was magnificent to have my 1st PGA Tour ace,’’ he claimed. “You want to go high-5 or something and we can not right now, so it was surely distinctive. But I’ll take it.’’
Tyler McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, didn’t get into the Travelers subject until finally the Wednesday withdrawals. He missed the cut at last week’s Korn Ferry Tour function and was geared up to choose the week off. He was on his way to the Pisgah Forest close to Asheville, N.C., for a silent 7 days off. Then he bought late phrase that he was in the Vacationers area if he could get to Connecticut.
“I think I obtained the confirmation all around 3 p.m. and the final flight out of Jacksonville was 5:30, so I experienced to pack up in about 25 minutes and head to the airport,’’ McCumber explained.
He designed his flight and manufactured the most of his possibility, shooting a 5-under 65 on Thursday although participating in along with defending-champion Chez Reavie and Jon Rahm.
“My brother-in-regulation drove me to the airport final moment,’’ McCumber mentioned. “I known as him, I’m like, ‘Hey, male, I imagine I’m going to get into the event, can you discover me a flight and maybe give me a ride to the airport and assistance me pack?’ He was Superman for me.’’