PGA Championship to feature 96 of top 100

The PGA Championship is slated to feature 96 of the top 100 players in the official world golf rankings.

The only four players not committed to the field are No. 36 Lee Westwood, No. 50 Shuga Imahira, No. 76 Thomas Pieters and No. 89 Eddie Pepperell.

The PGA Championship is the first major of 2020 and is scheduled to begin Aug. 6 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco without fans in attendance.

Westwood said at last week’s British Masters that he is “slightly asthmatic” and not yet comfortable with traveling to the United States.

“I still don’t feel comfortable and I don’t feel like it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours,” Westwood said. “I’m still concerned that America doesn’t take (the virus) as seriously as the rest of the world. It still seems to be one of the hot spots for outbreaks.

“I can control me not getting the virus and take all the measures I can, but somebody might pass it on. Right now there are too many ifs.”

Among those returning to competition this week are No. 9 Adam Scott from Australia and No. 33 Francesco Molinari, the Italian who announced his family is relocating from London to California.

No. 153 Troy Merritt, No. 141 Talor Gooch and No. 174 Russell Henley are the top three alternates.

While previously stating that players who care about their careers should be traveling to compete in the U.S., second-ranked Rory McIlroy said this week that he sympathizes with Westwood and Pepperell. At the same time, he would likely have traveled to Europe had The Open Championship been played this year.

“I understand their plight,” McIlroy said. “But if it was a major championship, it would probably be different and I probably would go over and play it.

“But that’s not to say what Lee and Eddie are doing isn’t right, that they feel safer and they feel that their time is better spent at home and not exposing themselves to more people and not having the chance of getting sick or getting someone else sick.”

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