The 45-year-old golfer took to Twitter to announce his withdrawal from the event on Monday.
“I am disappointed to announce that I have tested positive for covid-19 and will have to withdraw from the 2021 Open Championship,” he wrote. “I look forward to returning to St. Andrews next year, a place where I have such wonderful memories. Good Luck to all the competitors.”
— Zach Johnson (@ZachJohnsonPGA) July 12, 2021
Along with the rest of the players planning on making the trip to The Open Championship, Johnson was given a rapid-result PCR test after the final round of the John Deere Classic on Sunday. According to reports from ESPN, his positive results came back before he boarded the England-bound charter flight with multiple players, caddies and managers on board.
Because of the United Kingdom’s strict close-contact policies implemented at this year’s tournament, each of the 16 players on board the flight would’ve been forced to withdrawal if Johnson had stepped foot on the plane.
Interestingly, Johnson was asked about The Open’s COVID-19 policies just last week.
“The way I see it, quite honestly, it’s like the current situation here with the exception of the six time zones, is that I’m going to take a test here before I go, God willing it’s negative, and when I go over there, I guess I’ll be tested again,” he said, per ESPN. “Again, my guess is, and I think it’s a pretty fair guess, that they’re looking out for the betterment of the whole and not just us players. It’s kind of what I do each and every week anyway, and that’s fine.”
After missing the cut at each of this year’s previous major championships, The Open was Johnson’s final chance to make a splash on the big stage this year. Instead, he will be replaced in the field by English golfer Sam Horsfield, who was taken from the Official World Golf Ranking reserve list.
The Open Championship will tee off later this week on Thursday.
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