CROMWELL, CT (WFSB) - Rain in our forecast later today forced play to be scheduled to start early this morning.

Because of the weather, all players tee off this morning between 7:00 and 9:00.

They want the players off the golf course before the storm.

The weather is just the latest hurdle for these players.

Safety has been a top priority here during the pandemic.

Remember, this is only a televised event.

There are no crowds.

So far, a total of seven players have dropped out because of coronavirus concerns.

Out of those players who dropped out, three of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

Before play started, all players were tested.

Cameron Champ and Nick Watney tested positive.

On Thursday, Denny McCarthy reported feeling sick and he got tested.

The results were positive.

Bud Cauley tested negative, but he played alongside McCarthy on Thursday, so he dropped out for safety reasons.

"The last couple months have been crazy. Obviously, there's a lot of uncertainty with what is going on right now, but it's kind of been my life since I finished in Canada last summer and whenever I get my starts, I'm really thankful. I got one this week so I thought I'd take advantage," says golfer Will Gordon.

Caddies for Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell tested positive earlier this week, so they withdrew too.

Chase Koepka and Webb Simpson dropped out out of precaution.

Going into today, Phil Mickelson, a former two-time winner here, is leading at 13 under.

This is Phil Mickelson’s first tournament since turning 50 this month.

He says age might work in his favor.

"I also made some good puts today. I made some tough six footers that really kept the round going. The birdies on thirteen and fifteen were not easy. There was a lot of break and I got really connected to the hole, and got good pace and I got my line there. That really kept the round going. Those are the ones that really take away your energy if you don't make them. I made those today," explained Mickelson.


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