Chase Koepka made the difficult choice on Wednesday to withdraw from the 2020 Travelers Championship, joining his brother and former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka in pulling out of the event because Brooks’ caddie, Ricky Elliott, tested positive for coronavirus.
For Brooks, the decision was difficult and deflating because he and his team had tried to follow the best practices and protocols to prevent infection in their ranks.
For Chase, the decision was even more gutting because he earned a spot in the Travelers field through Monday qualifying, with his brother watching as he secured a rare PGA Tour start.
— Chase Koepka (@ChaseKoepka) June 24, 2020
“Despite being very excited about playing the [Travelers Championship], I am electing to withdraw,” Koepka wrote. “Myself and my team have tested negative for Covid-19; however, I was in close contact with someone who tested positive. I feel as if this is the best decision to keep all other players, caddies and volunteers safe. I wish everyone the best of luck this week!”
The public reaction was naturally sympathetic, as Koepka lost an opportunity he had earned through nothing he did.
Through no clear fault of his own, Chase Koepka loses out on a PGA Tour opportunity because he's doing what he feels is the right thing. Hopefully that comes back to him in the right way.
— Ryan Ballengee (@RyanBallengee) June 24, 2020
Now it appears karma will come back to Koepka in the right way. Golf Digest reports the Travelers Championship is guaranteeing Chase Koepka a spot in the 2021 version of the tournament because he did the responsible thing in withdrawing.
Told by a @TravelersChamp source that the tournament is guaranteeing Chase Koepka has spot in 2021 event after he WD'd yesterday out of caution related to the coronavirus. Nice gesture for a guy who Monday qualified to get into this week's event.
— Ryan Herrington (@GWcampusinsider) June 25, 2020
Chase Koepka has been making his way as a pro in a troubadour-like fashion, cobbling together starts on myriad tours, including overseas, as he looks to build a career and get more secure status. While there’s no guarantee getting into the Travelers would have build into something bigger, this is the right thing to do.