Golf: Kiwi golf stars concerned about PGA restart

Two of New Zealand's biggest names on the US PGA golf circuit have serious concerns over player welfare if the tour resumes in just under eight weeks time.

Respected commentator Frank Nobilo and PGA pro Tim Wilkinson believe the June 11 restart date is unlikely because the PGA won't be able to carry out thorough testing for COVID-19.

"If I was a betting man I'd say they still may push it back because there's a lot of things that have to be done," Nobilo told Newshub. "Testing, for example." 

The PGA has confirmed the first event back will be at Fort Worth on June 11, a tournament Nobilo's already confirmed to be commentating at. 

But with America still gripped by the crisis, Nobilo has concerns about safety and the logistics involved, with players and caddies based overseas and US border restrictions still in place. 

"They're presuming a lot of things are going to happen. The PGA has the best players in the world but they come from all over the world. 

"That's what we're all trying to come to grips with... with travelling and the new environment. So, yes, I will be concerned."

Fellow Kiwi and PGA card holder Tim Wilkinson agrees. 

While he hasn't been confirmed in the field for June 11, he wonders whether the PGA are rushing.

"I know there's a push to start the tour in June, said Wilkinson. "I just don't know, from a health standpoint, if that's going to happen."

Players have had the opportunity to talk to the PGA. Their biggest concerns were around travel and the sheer number of people involved in tournaments. 

"One of the questions from me was - are they going to test? And the answer to that question was they're going to try and test everyone involved in the event."  

Nobilo says the first four weeks of competition will likely be without fans and he believes they should be consulted on how the revised competition looks. 

It's the fans that make professional sport," Nobilo added. "The roars, especially at a place like Augusta National.    

"I think you've got to have the conversation with fans because I think it's a big deal."

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