Sergio Garcia didn’t mean it the way that it came out.
He had traded messages with Nick Watney, the first PGA Tour player to test positive for COVID-19, and didn’t think the universe was being fair to a renowned good guy.
“I felt terrible for Nick because he’s probably one of the nicest guys on Tour,” Garcia said Saturday at the RBC Heritage. “Unfortunately, it had to happen to him. There’s a lot of other people that probably deserved it a lot more than him, and he’s the one that got it.”
It seems pretty clear Garcia wasn’t implying there was some list of people on Tour who deserved to contract coronavirus. He almost certainly meant that, in his estimation, Watney was taking the proper precautions to avoid getting coronavirus, and he still did anyhow.
The pair traveled together to Hilton Head Island, S.C., together on a private flight from Austin, Texas. Watney and Garcia were both tested upon arrival on Tuesday, and they both tested negative. On Friday, Watney became concerned he was exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and he went to tournament site to get tested. Ultimately, it came out positive. The Tour then worked with Watney to trace his contacts since arriving, and 11 of those contacts were tested. All came back negative.
“When we landed on Tuesday, we got tested. We were both negative. So, it was all good,” Garcia said. “I was surprised to hear that he tested positive two days, three days later. Obviously, I got my [coronavirus] test done yesterday, and I was negative. But it was about 4 1/2 hours of waiting, very anxiously, hoping that it was negative.”
It is unclear if Watney got a false negative test or if he contracted the virus while in South Carolina. Given it takes days some four to five days for symptoms to present themselves, a false negative is the more likely situation. The tests themselves are not completely accurate, and the reality of how coronavirus develops can make false negatives possible on their own. If a test isn’t administered properly, the test could also not return the right result.