27 Jun 2020 | Professional golf |

Leish leaps, but another Covid positive on US Tour

by Martin Blake

Marc Leishman Travelers image
Marc Leishman shot a 65 today at River Highlands. Photo: Getty

Marc Leishman jumped out as the top Australian at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut today but the US PGA Tour continues to be troubled by Coronavirus concerns.

Leishman shot a brilliant back-nine 31 in his second-round 65 to elevate himself to tied-fourth at nine-under par, four shots shy of the veteran Phil Mickelson, who leads outright.

Mickelson is playing just his second tournament since turning 50 and he bolted around in a 63 today.

Leishman, the world No. 15, has already had a victory in America this year. Jason Day and Greg Chalmers were the two other Aussies to make the cut at River Highlands, while Cameron Davis' second-round 71 saw him drop out.

The big talk of the day surrounded the withdrawal of two American players, one of whom – Denny McCarthy – tested positive to Covid-19 prior to his second round. The other to pull out, Bud Cauley, did not test positive but played in the same group as McCarthy on Thursday.

McCarthy said he felt symptoms on Thursday night while Cauley said his withdrawal was out of respect to the field.

It is the second tournament in a row where at least one player withdrew because of a positive test, as questions are raised about whether the tour can continue, especially as Covid-19 cases continue to soar in many parts of the US.

Another American player, Cameron Champ, withdrew prior to the event this week because he tested positive.

The tour is testing all players, caddies and staff regularly and no crowds are allowed at the venue, although that is scheduled to change next week.

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