Nick Watney bored in isolation, nervous about how he received COVID-19


Monday marked the 10th day of self-isolation for Nick Watney, the minimal required for PGA Tour gamers who check optimistic for the brand new coronavirus.
He stated he’s feeling good apart from some minor fatigue, maybe introduced on by a serious case of boredom, and apart from the excellence of changing into the primary of what now’s 5 gamers and two caddies who’ve examined optimistic because the PGA Tour returned amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
”I’ll say, it is not the best feeling being the primary to get it,” Watney stated in his first interview since he was notified June 19 on the the RBC Heritage of his optimistic check.
”Some issues are so imprecise round this factor,” he stated. ”The signs … some individuals get this, some get that. I have not had a fever or cough the entire time, no shortness of breath. Possibly that is the rationale it is so scary. I nonetheless do not understand how or the place I received it.”
He misplaced his sense of odor, a sensation he described as ”gnarly,” however stated that’s coming again. And maybe the strangest sensation is being at a golf resort with out enjoying golf.
He stays in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, because the PGA Tour has moved on to Connecticut, and now Detroit this week, after which two weeks in Ohio. The present goes on.
”Very, very boring,” he stated. ”Being on the highway and never enjoying golf is a bizarre feeling.”
Three extra gamers examined optimistic throughout the Vacationers Championship – Cameron Champ earlier than the event began, Denny McCarthy after his first spherical and Dylan Frittelli after he missed the minimize. Two caddies examined optimistic, which prompted a chain-reaction of withdrawals. Harris English examined optimistic Monday on the Rocket Mortgage Traditional in Detroit.

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Watney spent a part of Monday arranging for a rental automobile for the 17-hour drive to Austin, Texas, the place he lives along with his spouse, Amber, and their 4 kids, ranging in age from 6 years to six months.
”I do not need to fly at this level,” he stated. ”I simply assume all this might be a waste of time if I left early and received another person sick. I would really feel horrible.”
He stated his spouse was nervous when he known as her the day of the check. She managed to get herself and the youngsters examined the next day, and the checks got here again damaging. Every week later, none has any signs.
Watney laughed on the notion he is perhaps accountable for PGA Tour gamers all getting a WHOOP strap, which might present early indications of the virus. That was a part of the tour making an attempt to tighten its protocols because it continues its schedule.
The strap is what alerted Watney.
He purchased one a yr in the past to review his sleep sample and different well being metrics, making an attempt to do every little thing attainable to assist the 39-year-old add to his 5 PGA Tour victories and one look within the Presidents Cup.
He usually takes 14 breaths a minute. When he wakened Friday at Harbour City, it was as much as 18, which involved him. So he requested for a check and was on the golf course when he obtained the decision saying he had examined optimistic.
”As soon as you are a member of the WHOOP service, they’re at all times speaking about efficiency,” he stated. ”In addition they despatched out knowledge from customers who’ve gotten the virus. A typical factor was the respiratory fee. I learn an article that they had printed, and it was alarming. I did not get up in need of breath. It wasn’t tough to breath. However this factor has tracked my respiratory fee. And primarily based on that, I believed I ought to be examined.”
Watney is thought to be well mannered to a fault, and his greatest fear was spreading the virus. He texted Rory McIlroy, whom he noticed on the observe inexperienced (”at a distance,” McIlroy stated) earlier than getting his outcome. Sergio Garcia, who flew with him from Austin to Hilton Head, stated Watney texted him always. ”He will need to have stated, ‘Sorry,’ to me 25 instances,” Garcia stated.
The tour recognized 11 individuals with whom Watney had contact. They have been examined twice, with all outcomes damaging.
”I used to be very, very nervous about giving it to different individuals,” Watney stated. ”I do not understand how I received it. I do not really feel as if I used to be reckless. That half is frightening. It is like this invisible, silent factor.”
Watney stated he went to the grocery retailer one time throughout the week of the event. The island was busy due to the beginning of summer season trip, with eating places full and parking heaps packed.
Because the optimistic check, Watney has been in his room. He stated Invoice Haas’ spouse, Julie, went to the shop and introduced him 10 baggage of groceries. He has hung out on the cellphone calling those that have checked up on him – gamers, caddies, RBC Heritage event director Steve Wilmot.
Watney went three months with out enjoying and made it by three rounds – he missed the minimize at Colonial – earlier than it was time to cease. He’s No. 123 within the FedExCup standings, and the optimistic check price him at the very least a month of competitors. No worries there – with the shortened season, his standing might be unchanged for subsequent season.
He stated he would really feel secure after three straight days of no signs. He plans to start out the two-day highway journey on Wednesday.
”I will mask-up once I discover a motel,” he stated.

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