Sport

14-day quarantine wait a double bogey for Harding


South African golfer Justin Harding feels it doesn’t make sense to travel to the United States until the PGA Tour reduces its quarantine restrictions.

PGA Tour officials announced that golfers based outside the US will face a 14-day quarantine period before they are able to compete on the Tour.

The PGA Tour is set to resume its season with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, starting on 11 June.

Earlier this week, Englishman Lee Westwood told the Golf Channel that he won’t be travelling to the USA to compete on the PGA Tour.

Harding, who is currently in the United Kingdom, said the PGA Tour will provide the blueprint for the European Tour which is still scrambling to put out a revised schedule.

“I think it’s going to be interesting how we go forward. The European Tour is going to be tricky, obviously each country has different guidelines. It’s going to be difficult, I think everyone is waiting on the PGA Tour to lead the way in terms of a test (tournament),” Harding told reporters during a Sunshine Tour Zoom press conference.

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Harding, who does not have a PGA Tour card, felt it’ll be nonsensical to travel to the USA only to play a handful of tournaments and then have to be quarantined yet again.

“I’m a Korn Ferry Tour member and they sent a 37-page memorandum with all the guidelines,” he said.

“I have no intention of playing a full Korn Ferry Tour as it’ll be difficult to get world ranking points in order to get into Majors and WGCs.

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“Do I go over to the States and get started early and play a bunch of tournaments? But then I come back to Europe and then have to be quarantined for another 14 days. It really doesn’t make sense. I’m with Lee (Westwood) on that. You can’t take 7-8 weeks and play just three tournaments.”

Harding confirmed that none of his plans are set in stone until the European Tour announces its reduced schedule for the season.

“The European Tour is trying to set up a schedule for now with four to five weeks of tournaments in the UK. I hope the rest of the countries reduce their restrictions by the end of that time and then we can go from a Spanish Open to a French Open. But at the moment you can’t,” he said.

“We’re just waiting on a schedule for the European Tour. Once it comes out, everyone’s going to have a better idea of what could be expected and how the rest of the year looks.”

Harding is set to play fellow Sunshine Tour golfer Oliver Bekker in Sunday’s Virtual Sunshine Tour online match which is scheduled to start at 15:00.

– Compiled by Sport24 staff



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