This week’s Bermuda Championship will take place with a smaller than planned field.
As first reported by GOLF.com, the tournament, which gets underway at Port Royal tomorrow, has failed to fill all 132 of its spots, with only 127 players slated to compete.
The PGA Tour has not provided an official explanation for the shortfall but it is believed that Bermuda’s COVID-19 policy may have influenced some players’ decision not to travel.
The British island territory has been ravaged by COVID-19 in recent weeks. Just last month, it topped a global list for the number of cases per 100,000 residents in a table compiled by The New York Times. The publication found that Bermuda was averaging 109 new cases every day – a rate of 171 per 100,000 people.
In an attempt to get the virus under control, officials have mandated that overseas visitors either be vaccinated before they are allowed into the country or undergo a 14-day quarantine.
That decision was met with fury by PGA Tour journeyman Charlie Beljan, who, in a since deleted tweet, blasted COVID as a hoax and added: “F*** Bermuda and all you nazis pushing this agenda.”
According to GOLF.com, the players who have decided to pass include former US PGA champion Keegan Bradley, the 2019 champion Brendon Todd, Heath Slocum and former US Open winner Lucas Glover. Jonathan Kaye, Frank Lickliter II, Tommy Armour III and Will Mackenzie have also opted out.
The vaccination status of those players is unknown.
Last week, the PGA Tour told bunkered.co.uk that 83% of its “constituents” have received both doses of the vaccine.
That comprises players, caddies, essential staff such as rules officials, media officials and others who have close contact with players.
It is believed that the number of playing members to have received both doses is somewhere between 70% and 80%.