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Lee Westwood said the US is not taking the coronavirus pandemic as seriously as the rest of the world.© AFP




The United States has scrapped its 14-day quarantine for overseas PGA Tour golfers, but that’s not enough to convince former world No. 1 Lee Westwood to get on an airplane and fly to America. The US federal government decided Friday that professional golfers no longer have to quarantine for two weeks because the USPGA Tour has put in place numerous health measures such as regular testing for the coronavirus. The lifting of the restrictions opens the door for traveling non-Americans to enter the first major championship of 2020 in San Francisco on August 6 and next week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Tennessee.

But the attraction of playing in a major is not enough to sway Westwood, who said he is worried about the way the United States is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t feel it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours,” the 47-year-old Westwood told reporters Saturday at the British Masters. “I’ve felt like out of my comfort zone this week, so, if I got to Memphis, I would feel uncomfortable playing golf tournaments at the moment.”

“I’m still concerned that America doesn’t take it (the virus) as seriously as the rest of the world. It still seems to be one of the hot spots for outbreaks.”

The policy change also affects incoming caddies and other essential golf personnel entering the United States. The players were notified Friday in an email.

Westwood said he suffers from exercise-induced asthma.

“I’m slightly asthmatic. If I tested (positive) in Memphis I would have to stay there for two weeks. Right now there are too many ifs.”

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America leads the world in COVID-19 cases with 4.17 million and deaths with over 146,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Memphis has 265 deaths and almost 18,000 cases while San Francisco has more than 50 deaths and over 5,700 cases.

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