European Tour withdraws Wattel from Celtic Classic over COVID-19 concerns

FILE PHOTO: Golf - European Tour - BMW PGA Championship - Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Britain - May 24, 2018 France's Romain Wattel plays a shot on the first hole during the first round Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - The European Tour said on Thursday it had withdrawn Frenchman Romain Wattel from the Celtic Classic this week as a precaution, after he came in contact with compatriot Alex Levy, who tested positive for COVID-19.

Levy was earlier withdrawn after the 30-year-old had contact with a friend in France who tested positive for the virus.

Although Levy had initially tested negative upon his arrival in Wales, he returned a positive result in a re-test. The Tour said Wattel was traced as a contact of Levy by the tournament organisers and Public Health Wales.

"He (Wattel) was also re-tested but returned a negative result, as did Levy's caddie Tom Ayling," the European Tour said in a statement here.

“As a precaution, however, Wattel did not participate in the tournament in accordance with Public Health Wales’ guidance.”

The Tour added that Levy, Ayling and Wattel are all in self-isolation.

The 29-year-old Wattel was replaced by England’s Matthew Baldwin in the tournament, while Denmark’s Martin Simonsen came in instead of Levy for the tournament which began on Thursday.

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Chennai; Editing by Christian Radnedge