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Coronavirus: Golfer Sergio Garcia skips Masters after positive test

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Golfer Sergio Garcia has withdrawn from the Masters after testing positive for the coronavirus, the 2017 champion said in a tweet.

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Garcia, 40, who defeated Justin Rose in a 2017 playoff at Augusta National Golf Club to win his first major golf tournament, is the second player to miss the tournament because of COVID-19, ESPN reported. Joaquin Niemann, of Chile, withdrew last week after a positive test.

“Sergio Garcia has informed Augusta National Golf Club that he will not participate in the 2020 Masters Tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test result,” the golf club said in a statement.

All players and caddies are required to pass a COVID-19 test before being allowed admission onto the grounds for this year’s tournament, ESPN reported.

Withdrawing from the tournament means that Garcia’s streak of playing in 84 consecutive major events, which began at the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie when he was 19 years old, has ended.

Garcia said he began experiencing a sore throat after driving from Houston to Georgia. He said he decided to get tested Sunday, along with his wife. Angela Garcia did not test positive, the golfer said.

“After 21 years of not missing a major championship, I will sadly miss The Masters this week,” Garcia tweeted. “The important thing is that my family and I are feeling good. We’ll come back stronger and give the green jacket a go next April.”

Garcia missed the cut last week at the Houston Open, playing with Tony Finau and Brian Gay during the first two rounds, Golfweek reported.

The Houston tournament was the first on the PGA Tour to allow fans back on-site, as about 2,000 per day were allowed onto the grounds at Memorial Park Golf Course, ESPN reported.

Garcia has won 11 PGA Tour events and 20 international tournaments since turning pro. He has finished second in 16 tournaments and has 106 top-10 finishes and has won more than $51 million during his career.

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