Coronavirus: World number one Rory McIlroy calls for all players on PGA Tour to be tested

Rory McIlroy
Northern Ireland's McIlroy played the first round of the now cancelled Players Championship on Thursday

World number one Rory McIlroy has called for all players on the PGA Tour to be tested for coronavirus before the season recommences.

All play has been postponed until the Valero Texas Open on 2 April as a result of the global pandemic.

"For us to keep playing on Tour, all players and people that are involved need to get tested," said McIlroy.

"Everyone knows you can have it with no symptoms and pass it to someone that's more susceptible to getting very ill."

The global pandemic is causing severe disruption across the sporting world, with events likely to draw mass gatherings finding themselves postponed or cancelled.

On Thursday Players Championship organisers announced that the final three days of play at Sawgrass would proceed without fans.

However later in the day they moved to cancel the whole tournament citing the need to take responsible action.

The Texas Open was set to finish a week before the beginning of The Masters at Augusta, however the first major of the year has been postponed as a result of the pandemic.

Florida-based McIlroy, who returned to world number one in February, said he had no complaints over the PGA Tour's decision with coronavirus cases on the rise in most infected countries, including the United States.

"It's a scary time, and I think that the PGA Tour have made a step in the right direction and I think we just have to play it by ear and take it day by day," said the Northern Irishman.

"You look at the trends and you look at everything that's happening across the rest of the world, it's in its infancy here in the United States, and yeah, it's going to get worse before it gets better.

"I think it's a hard one because you look at volunteers out here [at Sawgrass] and a lot of volunteers are in their sixties and seventies and retired and you don't want someone that's got the virus that passes it on to them and then they're susceptible.

"My mother's got respiratory issues and I certainly don't want to get something and pass it on to her and all of a sudden there's some sort of complication."

With a return to competition earmarked for 2 April, there is set to be considerable re-shuffling of the golfing calendar when play is resumed.

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