2020 PGA Championship: John Daly among mass of withdrawals for TPC Harding Park

After wheeling up to the greens in a golf cart sipping a beverage out of a McDonald’s cup in last year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, John Daly will miss this year’s event after withdrawing on Sunday. Daly is among a long list of WDs from the event thus far, all for a variety of reasons spanning from injury (Charles Howell III) to a positive test for COVID-19 (Branden Grace) to simply choosing not to come to the United States because of COVID-19 concerns (Lee Westwood).

These WDs allow players like Talor Gooch, Wyndham Clark, Russell Henley, Emiliano Grillo and Harold Varner III an opportunity to get into the tournament. Alex Noren is currently first alternate if anyone else withdraws. This could be an interesting week on that front as we’ve seen a higher WD rate than normal lately on the PGA Tour because of positive COVID-19 tests.

Here’s the full list of WDs or players who either were invited or would have been invited but have chosen not to play. 

  • Padraig Harrington 
  • Paul Waring 
  • J.B. Holmes 
  • Charles Howell III 
  • Branden Grace 
  • John Daly 
  • Vijay Singh 
  • Francesco Molinari 
  • Eddie Pepperell
  • Lee Westwood
  • Thomas Pieters 
  • Y.E. Yang
  • Ryan Moore
  • Shugo Imahira
  • Vaughn Taylor

Obviously any positive test is unfortunate, but a scenario like we saw last week at the Barracuda Championship would be especially unfortunate. Branden Grace, who was T2 after Round 2 at the Barracuda, withdrew after testing positive. He will miss this week’s event, and the possibility of something similar happening in San Francisco is certainly a consideration. It’s just one more variable in a major week already full of them.

Daly, by the way, had not missed a PGA Championship since 2013, but he hasn’t made the cut at one since 2012 when he finished T18 in Rory McIlroy’s win at Kiawah.

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