American golfer Billy Horschel has iterated a cautious stance on fan and fellow player interaction when the PGA Tour resumes its season.
The tour has been on hold since the first round of the PLAYERS Championship but now looks set to return at the Charles Schwab Challenge in early June under a new revised schedule.
Complying with government rules and regulations on the Covid-19 pandemic, the first few events could be staged with empty galleries as the PGA Tour eases its way back into a safe playing environment.
And, the 33-year-old Horschel says he is happy to adhere to the new way of golf interaction but admits he will continue to sign autographs, if needed, only with a lot more caution than usual.
‘If we had fans at the first four events, I’d sign autographs. I’d be very cautious. Take the flag or hat and step back a step or two. I’d also wash my hands right away,’ said Horschel.
The USA has suffered severely under coronavirus with more than 1,5 million cases and nearing the 100,000 death mark.
‘A month ago, I probably would have said I’m not going to sign autographs. They were saying to limit contact because it was still very early. I probably would have had a different answer but with the information we have now, I feel like I can control not having my hand touch my face.
‘It’s tough. I think you’re going to see we probably won’t be shaking hands. We’ll be doing elbow bumps. If we want to shake hands and then go use hand sanitiser afterward,’ added Horschel.
Last weekend Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff provided a glimpse of what golf will be like, at least for the foreseeable future, as they contested the TaylorMade Driving Relief match in aid of the pandemic.
Each player carried his own bag at the Seminole Golf Club, while the four did ghost hand celebrations throughout the round. There were also no fans present.