Mexico's Lopez out of LPGA opener after positive virus test

By: AFP      Published: 07:37 PM, 31 Jul, 2020
Mexico's Lopez out of LPGA opener after positive virus test

Mexico's Gaby Lopez, who won this year's LPGA season opener, has tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrawn from the tour's first event after a five-month coronavirus pandemic shutdown.

Lopez was the only player who tested positive Monday in the first pre-tournament testing for the LPGA Drive On Championship, a 54-hole event that tees off Friday at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. More results from later tests were expected to be revealed as players conducted final practice rounds for the event, to be staged without spectators.

Lopez, 26, has self-isolated and is working with the LPGA and area health officials on contact tracing. "I was very excited to get back to playing on tour after this long break," Lopez said in a statement. "And while I'm disappointed that I'll have to wait a little longer, I am glad that I was able to get tested and to make sure I do not put anyone else at risk. I am self-isolating and will be following all the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and LPGA guidelines to get back to competing on tour in a safe manner. I'm feeling good and looking forward to when I can return to playing on tour."

LPGA protocols will require Lopez to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days, which could force her out of next week's LPGA event in nearby Sylvania, Ohio. On the 10th day, Lopez will take another saliva test and undergo a medical evaluation to determine if she can return to competition.

Lopez won her first LPGA title in China in November 2018 and captured the second of her career in January in the Tournament of Champions at Orlando, beating Japan's Nasa Hataoka with a birdie on the seventh playoff hole.

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