Legendary Coach Cowen Suffering From COVID-19

One of golf’s most respected and sought-after swing instructors believes he has contracted COVID-19, although he has not taken a test.

Pete Cowen, coach to major champions such as Brooks Kopeka, Gary Woodland, Henrik Stenson, Graeme McDowell, Danny Willett, Louis Oosthuizen and Darren Clarke, told The Telegraph’s James Corrigan that he believes he contracted the virus but wasn’t able to be tested by emergency personnel. 

“You really don’t want this,” Cowen, who is 70, said. “I’m feeling horrendous and wouldn’t wish this on anyone; no matter how young and fit they may be.”

Cowen was in Florida for the Players Championship last week, and returned home to England before coming down with symptoms in the middle of last week.

“After a few days of self-isolation, we decided to ring the ambulance and the medics said I ticked every box on the corona sheet – low blood-oxygen levels, persistent dry cough, raging temperature, high heart rate,” Cowen said. “They were fantastic, but said they were not allowed to test me unless I was admitted to hospital and then the staff there decided to keep you in.

“I was surprised, to say the least, and still find it odd, to be honest, but because of the bed shortages and because I’m in pretty good nick, I elected to stay put. I don’t want to alarm anyone, and I might just have been particularly ­vulnerable to it, but I’m not sure how anyone with an underlying illness could cope with this.

“I urge everyone to do exactly what the authorities are saying. I’ve told all of my players the same.”

Golfweek.com’s Adam Schupak spoke to Woodland, who confirmed Cowen was struggling with symptoms of COVID-19.

“I’ve talked to Pete over the last couple days and he’s said he thinks he has the virus and has been in isolation feeling horrible,” Woodland told Golfweek in a text. “My thoughts and prayers are with him and everyone during this time. My family and I are at home feeling great trying to entertain three kids under 3. We are healthy and have no symptoms.”

Cowen said that he hopes and expects to be feeling up for teaching in a few days when he expects his stable of players to get back to work.

“I can’t see the Tour resuming for months and months,” he said. “But ­after a week off, getting their heads around it, I know all the pros will start practicing and make sure everything stays in working order. Next week, I’m sure I’ll get a few videos sent through asking for my observations. Hopefully, I’ll feel up to it by then.”