Lorenzo Gagli and Edoardo Molinari initially had to withdraw from this week's Oman Open but were then given a late reprieve

Going into the opening day of the Oman Open Lorenzo Gagli and Edoardo Molinari had withdrawn on medical grounds – then they were reinstated. Why?

Gagli had exhibited flu-like symptoms until last Friday and so had to wait for two days before getting a vaccine for yellow fever ahead of the Indian Open. He was then checked by a European Tour doctor on Tuesday and, at breakfast on Wednesday, he was told to return to his room in self-isolation and tested for Coronavirus.

His room-mate Edoardo Molinari was moved to another room.

Italy has reported 447 cases of the virus to date, the most of any country outside Asia. Twelve people have died in Italy since Friday, all of them elderly, having other health conditions or both.

But on Thursday morning the Omani Ministry of Health reported that Gagli’s test results were negative and, because of the strange circumstances, both players were added back into the field and Gagli was round in a three-under 69 to Molinari’s 70.

The tour’s chief executive Keith Pelley said: “This is a difficult global situation, one during which we will continue to follow all guidance given to us on preventive measures, and all decisions will continue to be made in the interests of overall public health. We will also continue to work closely with our own health experts and local authorities to ensure we have the latest medical and travel advice for all our tournaments.”

Earlier in the week Gagli told the Italian newspaper La Nazione: ”I feel fine. I just have a cold. I arrived in Muscat last Sunday and over the last few days I’ve worked out in the gym with dozens of other players. I ate with them and travelled by bus with them. If there was a risk of contagion, then they would have to isolate dozens of golfers and cancel the tournament.”

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