2020 Masters: 2017 champion Sergio Garcia withdraws after testing positive for COVID-19

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Sergio Garcia withdrew from the 2020 Masters on Monday after testing positive for COVID-19. The 2017 champion becomes the second player to test positive for the coronavirus ahead of the year’s premier major as Joaquin Niemann withdrew last week after testing positive as well.

Garcia was on a good run of golf after winning the Sanderson Farms Championship a month ago, but after missing the cut at the Houston Open three days ago he realized he had a sore throat and cough as he drove home. He tested positive over the weekend and informed the club of his withdrawal to start the week.

Though Garcia has four top 10 finishes overall at Augusta National and an incredible 23 in his career at the majors, his victory in 2017 over Justin Rose in a playoff still stands as his only major championship. This will — somewhat incredibly — be the first major Garcia has missed since the 1999 U.S. Open. 

While it was unlikely that Garcia would win — he has missed nine of 13 major cuts since winning the Masters in 2017 (including two at Augusta) — it’s always a bummer to not have a past champion in attendance, especially one who was swinging it pretty well coming into this week.

The field is now down to 94 after starting at 96 before Niemann and Garcia withdrew. The top 50 of those players (and ties) will make the cut and play the weekend, but Augusta National announced on Monday that those within 10 strokes of the lead will no longer be eligible for the final two rounds.


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