Japan’s reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama has been forced to pull out of a Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour event in the United States after testing positive for COVID-19.
Matsuyama was due to start the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit yesterday, but the PGA confirmed that the Japanese star had withdrawn after contracting the virus.
The 29-year-old, who shot an even-par 70 on the opening day of the event, is isolating while playing partners Phil Mickelson or Rickie Fowler were allowed to continue.
“It’s disappointing,” said Matsuyama.
“I will take all the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of all others.
“I appreciate and thank everyone for their concern in advance.
“I look forward to a full recovery and returning to competition as soon as possible.”
It is not known whether Matsuyama, who has qualified to compete at the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo, has any coronavirus symptoms.
Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a major title after claiming the Masters crown in April.
Following his historic victory, Matsuyama has been muted as a contender to light the Olympic Cauldron – a role he said he would welcome.
The men’s golf competition is set to start on July 29 – six days after the Olympic Opening Ceremony is scheduled to take place.
“If the schedule works out and I am in Japan when that happens and they ask me, what an honour that would be,” said Matsuyama.
“If I am on the team, and maybe it looks like I will be, I’ll do my best to represent my country, and hopefully I’ll play well.”