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Sports and the virus: College baseball tourney in Texas; PGA announces COVID testing plan

Players from all levels of college baseball are set to compete in the three-day, four-team Collegiate Summer Baseball Invitational in Bryan, Texas. ESPN2 will televise two games Thursday night. Games on Friday and Saturday are pay-per-view.

The players, coaches, umpires and other event staff arrived in Bryan on Monday and were tested for COVID-19. They are being quarantined at a hotel through Saturday and allowed outside only to go to and from the ballpark.

The players were split into four teams and are mostly from Division I schools, but junior colleges and NAIA schools also are represented. Among the coaches are former major leaguers LaTroy Hawkins and Drew Sutton.

“Baseball has united us throughout the history of this country and we’re truly blessed to be able to come back to share some much-needed relief during these difficult times,” CSBI organizer Uri Geva said. “We’re continuing to work closely with local health officials to ensure the safety of all involved during this event.”

Geva is donating 5 percent of pay-per-view subscriptions to No Kid Hungry, an organization fighting child hunger in the United States.

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The PGA Tour has announced a deal with Sanford Health to conduct COVID-19 testing of players, caddies and essential personnel five days before the season resumes. That applies to every stop on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions and the developmental Korn Ferry Tour.

Sanford Health is based in South Dakota and is title sponsor of a PGA Tour Champions event.

The company has three mobile testing units it will deploy across the country. Each one has a driver and three lab technicians. A unit will be at tournaments from Saturday through Thursday before leaving for the next closest event.

The tour says results from the PCR tests are expected back in a manner of hours. Senior vice president of tour administration Andy Levinson says it also allows ample testing without taking away resources from the community where the tournaments are played.

The tour expects about 400 people to require testing at tournaments upon the restart. No spectators are allowed for the first five events on the PGA Tour.

The first event is the June 11-14 Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth on the PGA Tour. The smaller Korn Ferry Tour has an event at PGA Tour headquarters in Florida.

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The Official World Golf Ranking will restart next week when the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour hold official tournaments for the first time in three months.

The ranking was frozen on March 15 as golf joined the rest of sports worldwide in shutting down sports because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Tour does not resume until July 22. That leaves some players unable to earn ranking points.

The OWGR board says major organizations such as the USGA and PGA of America have agreed to incorporate the March 15 ranking into whatever qualifying criteria they have involving the ranking.

Rory McIlroy remains at No. 1 going to Colonial.

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The chief executive of the European Tour says the fate of this year’s Ryder Cup will be decided by the end of the month.

Keith Pelley says in an extensive interview with the McKellar Journal podcast that the European Tour and the PGA will have “conversations” about the Ryder Cup now that the revamped schedules of both tours have been announced.

Pelley says there will be “a direction at the end of the month.”

The Ryder Cup is still on schedule for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin despite massive disruption to the sports schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak.

It could be held without fans but golfers like Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka are among those saying they are against that idea.