John Daly backed out of the PGA Championship on Sunday, and will miss the major championship for the first time since 2013.
The 54-year-old tweeted on Monday that he didn’t feel safe playing at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his previous health issues. Risking exposure, he said, just wasn’t worth it.
People keep asking why I WD from PGA??? California now #1 in cases/deaths, I had knee surgery, I’m a diabetic & I don’t feel comfortable flying. Being too close proximity to even small crowds & risk exposure with my health not worth it! God Bess & y’all be safe!
— John Daly (@PGA_JohnDaly) August 3, 2020
There were more than 522,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in California, the most in the country, and 9,500 deaths attributed to it, according to The New York Times. The 9,500 deaths rank third in the country behind both New York and New Jersey, and both Texas and Florida have seen at least 1,200 deaths over the past week compared to just 948 in California.
Daly underwent knee surgery last year, too, something that — along with his diabetes — would put him at a much greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Daly has five career wins on the PGA Tour, including at the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick. He also won the British Open four years later at St. Andrews.
He has competed on the PGA Tour Champions, the PGA Tour’s senior Tour, since play resumed, and finished T58 at The Ally Challenge last weekend. He has one top-10 finish already this season, when he came T9 at the Cologuard Classic.
Daly is the 14th player to withdraw from the PGA Championship this week, and the fourth to do so explicitly due to the coronavirus — joining Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Eddie Pepperell.
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