Rose: ‘I still feel safe competing at the Travelers Championship’

English golfer Justin Rose talks to CNN's John Riddell.

In an interview with CNN’s Don Riddell, English golfer Justin Rose spoke on health concerns surrounding the upcoming Travelers Championship and shared his thoughts on competing in the current climate.

Despite several positive COVID-19 tests and withdrawals among players and caddies, Rose stated he felt “very safe” and backed the safety protocols being implemented by the PGA Tour.

Rose conceded he didn’t know how any positive tests would result in the upcoming tournament being abandoned, but told CNN he believes golf has an advantage over other sports returning during the global pandemic.

With the Travelers Championship scheduled to tee off without fans in attendance, Rose discussed competing without public support and the possibility of delaying events such as the Ryder Cup until 2021.

Excerpts:

Rose on competing at the Travelers Championship, despite Coronavirus risks:

“I feel very safe. I think the Tour are doing everything that they can and everything within their power. The spread of the virus, it’s vague, it’s difficult to know exactly how people are catching it... The Tour are creating a bubble, and within the bubble you feel very safe, but you can’t live 100% of the time within that bubble, so there are transitions from tournament to tournament, where you’re out in the real world... But I think the procedures here in Connecticut seem incredibly strict and tight.”

Rose on how the sport can adapt compared to other sports:

“That's where I think golf has an advantage over other sports. We're not in close contact with our competition. There's many golf clubs now open around the world with certain procedures and precautions in place and I'm hoping that that is a benefit for us, but we need the guys to continue to stay safe and healthy.”

Rose on how many positive coronavirus tests it would take to jeopardize the tournament:

“I don’t know what it would take, and I wouldn’t really want to suggest what it would take. But I think five, 10 [positive coronavirus tests], who knows? I don’t know what the number is. But I guess there comes a point where people have to think about it. But like I said, I still feel safe, and I think there’s a lot of great procedures in place.”

Rose on competing without fans and whether it changes his game:

“I would say it’s almost somewhat easier to play without fans because there’s no distraction out here. It feels a bit more low key, but we miss the fans. When you’re playing down the stretch and you’re trying to win a tournament, and the energy and the buzz that the fans bring, that definitely gets the juices flowing. That’s why we practice, to feel those emotions.”

Rose on the possibility of delaying the Ryder Cup to 2021 so fans can attend:

“I mean, the Ryder Cup is all about the fans, to be honest with you. My view is, I don’t know how much we can just stack into 2021, because 2021 becomes a bit of a logjam. And the way things are trending, who knows how 2021 looks. You can’t just make [coronavirus] vanish overnight. So, I’m cautious about pushing too much into 2021. Obviously, the Olympics is already there [as well] ... But 2021 is looking like a very busy year if things keep getting pushed that way.” — CNN Sport