The Honda Classic begins on Thursday as dozens of competitors compete for the $7 million prize purse. Two golfers are late scratches and will not make the trip to Palm Beach County. Gary Woodland and Scott Piercy both tested positive for COVID-19.
The PGA Tour announced the news on Monday and confirmed that both golfers would miss the upcoming tournament. Woodland also confirmed the news with a post on Instagram. They will remain in self-isolation while following CDC guidelines. Sebastian Cappelen will replace Woodland, while D.J. Trahan will replace Piercy.
Gary Woodland and Scott Piercy have withdrawn from The Honda Classic after testing positive for COVID-19.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 15, 2021
"Unfortunately, I had to withdraw from the Honda Classic this week after testing positive for COVID-19," Woodland wrote. "I'm grateful to be feeling good and disappointed to not be in the field this week. I'm working with the TOUR in regards to safely returning to competition and hope to be back soon."
Both Woodland and Piercy competed in the Players Championship last weekend, which Justin Thomas won after edging out Lee Westwood. Piercy played in all four rounds and finished tied for 69th place. Woodland missed the cut after a second-round 76.
The positive coronavirus test is another issue for Woodland to overcome in 2021. The 2019 US Open champion, Woodland has missed the cut in six of the 11 events this year. He currently sits in 169th place in the FedEx Cup standings. Piercy, for comparison, posted three top 25s in the fall, but he has not finished better than tied for 50th place this year.
The last time the PGA Tour headed to Palm Beach County for the Honda Classic, Im Sung-jae secured the win with a score of six strokes under par. He edged out Mackenzie Hughes and Tommy Fleetwood. Woodland finished tied for eighth place.
Positive coronavirus tests have caused minor issues to several PGA Tour events. Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson both missed the Players Championship after they came into close contact with people that tested positive. Similarly, Dustin Johnson pulled out of the CJ Cup after testing positive.
Meeting with the media ahead of the Players Championship, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said that there would be more testing — as well as stricter monitoring protocols — moving forward. He mentioned there had been 2,757 tests, with seven of them being positive.
"As we look at where we are now, I think we all need to remind ourselves that we're learning to live with this virus and we all need to learn to live with this virus — as individuals, as family members and certainly within our businesses," Monahan said via ESPN. "It's pretty clear that this virus isn't going anywhere."