• Rory backing fans’ return

    Rory McIlroy
    Rory McIlroy

    Former world No 1 Rory McIlroy says he is comfortable with welcoming fans back after months of empty courses across the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The PGA Tour has been looking at certain events to allow fans back since golf restarted in July but every competition on Tour, as well as the European Tour, has since taken place with an empty gallery.

    McIlroy, who tees off at the Zozo Championship in California on Thursday, believes that people are bit more aware now of coronavirus threats compared to when the season restarted at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

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    ‘I think I’m more comfortable with it now than I was, say, back when we were going to play the Memorial in July with fans,’ said the Northern Irishman. ‘I think everyone was still a little skeptical about that.

    ‘But I think right now we just know a little more about Covid and what it does, maybe not long-term-wise but at least in the short term, what it maybe does to the body and what the symptoms are and treatment protocols and therapeutics.’

    On Wednesday, Australian Adam Scott became the latest golfer on the Tour to test positive for Covid-19, joining players such as Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Dylan Frittelli and Branden Grace, who have all been infected previously.

    ‘It’s hard because the demographic that is a Tour player and the people that are out on site, if they get Covid, more than likely nothing is going to happen. They might get symptoms for a couple of days but they’ll bounce back and they’ll be fine,’ added McIlroy.

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    The PGA Tour is currently looking at the Bermuda Championship and Houston Open in the coming weeks to possibly allow fans, but five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson believes it might be a bit too risky just yet.

    ‘I think that they will do a very good, safe job in having 2,000 people at the Houston Open. However, for me personally, I don’t like the risk of having that happen the week before the Masters.

    ‘So it has made me question whether or not I’ll play there,’ he said.

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