When Cameron Champ did not want any attention
Cameron Champ did not want any extra attention when he arrived at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Thursday. He would have preferred to merge into thee background and just play golf, as he had intended before testing positive on the eve of the Travelers Championships the week before last.
Champ said he believes his positive test at the Travelers was a false positive.
He was happy that everyone was supportive when they saw him at the Detroit Golf Club. “So it was just nice, like I said, not to have people look at me, oh, he has corona, we have to be careful type deal,” he said. “The support, it definitely makes it easier to come back. Again, not having people looking at me thinking that I’m contagious or anything.” Two days on, he has made the cut comfortably shooting 69-68.
Yet, he was the man people wanted to talk to. He was after all the first man to come back to play after testing positive,
Excerpts from his media interaction after Round 1:
Q: Can you just kind of run us through the last, I guess, 72 hours since you first got the first test and how everything else evolved from that?
CAMERON CHAMP: Which first test, the positive
CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah. So obviously Tuesday at Travelers I tested positive. I was asymptomatic, I really felt fine. I was extremely cautious because my fiancée’s father has a heart condition so we’ve been extremely cautious, so for me that was a shocker. Obviously the following days I had to quarantine, and Wednesday Thursday and Friday I tested each day and they were all negative, but then by Saturday afternoon I was able to go home
Q: And can you just kind of talk about the emotions of not knowing when you were going to be able to play again to getting back into this week?
CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, definitely it’s mixed emotions. I think my agent, Chris Armstrong, he did extremely well with working with the Tour and the Tour did extremely well with working with us just trying to figure out when the best time would be to come back depending on the protocols and how they work. So we were able to work that out. Obviously, like I said, this was a surprise to me. About 4:30 last night we got the call saying, “Do you want to play,” and I’m like, “Of course I want to play.” So again, I had to rush here today and was able to make it in time to tee it up.
Q: I’m sorry, just one more quick follow-up. Did you go home after getting the positive test and then you had to rush back to Detroit?
CAMERON CHAMP: So after the positive test, I tested negative three times. So following those three-day tests I was able to leave on Saturday. Since they followed CDC guidelines, it’s either a 10-day quarantine or two negative tests back to back.
Q: Just to kind of clarify, where were you when you got the news that you were in the field, and you said it was around 4:30 yesterday?
CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, I was at home literally sitting on my couch when I got the news from my agent through the PGA TOUR that they were letting me play this week. So kind of had to scramble to figure out even how to get here, and obviously the best way for me was I left about 6:30 this morning, flew in, did my testing, waited for my test, and when those results came in I came to the course and started warming up.
Q: And where were you coming from?
CAMERON CHAMP: Houston.
Q: So about what time did you get to the course? What time did you get to start practicing or warming up?
CAMERON CHAMP: By the time I saw a physio and I registered, I want to say around 12:45, 12:50. So I got roughly about an hour, which was good, that’s what I was hoping for. Flew in here as early as I possibly could to do testing.
Q: Cameron, I noticed you used some hand sanitizer at the turn. Just curious how often you did that and what was it like to be back out there after your situation?
CAMERON CHAMP: Yeah, I use it as much as I see it out there. Obviously, like I said, being extra precautious knowing the situation I’m in. And as far as being back, it feels amazing. Like I said, this last week has been a lot of ups and downs, a lot of talking on the phone. Probably the most I’ve talked on the phone this last week in the last three months combined. It just feels again nice to be back playing, seeing all the guys, playing golf.
Q: I’m just trying to clarify here. Do you believe that you had a false positive test?
CAMERON CHAMP: I mean through the specialist that we worked with, at this point it’s clear that I never had it. As far as their medical opinion, it’s pretty clear that I never had it, so that’s why I’m going about the way I am now. Like I said, still being precautious because if I happen to do get it, then it affects my family deeply. Like I said, with my fiancee’s father and a few other family members, if they get it, it can cause serious harm. But yes, at this point, with the specialists we work with, they determined I didn’t have it.
Champ tested positive June 23 the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, and had to withdraw from that tournament and quarantine himself.
Champ followed his positive test with three negative tests in a 72-hour span and was told by the Tour on Wednesday he could play this week. Champ said he believes his positive test at the Travelers was a false positive.