Major champions Padraig Harrington and Francesco Molinari both withdrew from next week’s PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park.
Harrington, the winner of two British Opens and the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, tweeted on July 30 that he wouldn’t be traveling to the U.S., in search of his fourth major title.
“As COVID-19 currently looks to be under control in Ireland, I am taking the prudent approach by following the guidelines and reducing the risk as much as possible by staying at home,” he wrote. “I’m sure I’ll be watching every shot on TV with great interest and hopefully I’ll have many more years to play in the PGA Championship.”
— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) July 31, 2020
Molinari, the winner of the 2018 British Open, tweeted on July 2 that he was planning to move to the U.S., and “the hope is to be back for the PGA in August.”
He hasn’t played since the Players Championship in March. In an email to Golfweek, he wrote, “I just don’t feel ready to play having only moved in the last couple of weeks. I want to get the set up right for my family and me first, then come back when I’ve had a chance to prepare properly. I’m not sure yet when that will be, hopefully soon.”
— Francesco Molinari (@F_Molinari) July 2, 2020
Molinari and Harrington were replaced in the field by Troy Merritt and Talor Gooch.
The loss of Molinari, ranked No. 33 in the Official World Golf Ranking, means the PGA Championship will feature 95 of the top 100 in the world. Shugo Imahira, Eddie Pepperell, Thomas Pieters, and Lee Westwood previously chose not to play.