Zach Johnson has withdrawn from this week’s British Open after a positive COVID-19 test.
Johnson returned a positive rapid-result PCR test on Sunday, following the conclusion of the John Deere Classic. He received the result before boarding an England-bound charter alongside other players, managers and caddies. Had Johnson been on the flight, all other players aboard — regardless of their vaccination status — would have been removed from the tournament due to close-contact protocol.
Johnson, 45, is a two-time major champion and previously won the 2015 Open after a three-way playoff.
“I am disappointed to announce that I have tested positive for covid-19 and will have to withdraw from the 2021 Open Championship,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “I look forward to returning to St. Andrews next year, a place where I have such wonderful memories. Good luck to all the competitors.”
Johnson’s withdrawal adds to a growing list of golfers who have pulled their name out of the tournament, with a majority of the absences COVID-19 related. Among the withdrawals are reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, who tested positive for COVID-19 on July 2 and has yet to record a negative test, and Bubba Watson, who was in close contact with a positive test.