Charles Howell III has just once in his lengthy career gone this long without playing in a PGA Tour event and that was the byproduct of an injury.
“[Missing time with an injury] felt so different because the golf world was still moving. I had an idea when I would come back when I was injured,” Howell said on a Tour conference call on Wednesday. “This is so different, not only have we been put on pause, the economy has been put on pause, so many people are suffering and hurting; it’s difficult to watch.”
As the Tour continues to adjust to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and plan for a return to competition, Howell has a perspective on how the game should proceed.
Howell’s father is a pediatric surgeon in Augusta, Ga., and the two have spent a good amount of time talking about the pandemic the last few weeks.
“I know the things that he and all the health care workers are going through. In a return to golf it would be extremely important to follow guidelines of the CDC and state and local officials,” Howell said. “We should only proceed when they say it’s appropriate to do so.
“There are people out there sacrificing their lives to help get us through this. When you talk about returning to golf it has to be done appropriately.”
The Tour is currently scheduled to resume its season next month at the Charles Schwab Challenge, but that seems unlikely given the extent of the outbreak at the moment.