The 34 year old Italian followed an opening round of 69 with a second round of 70, having only been cleared to tee it up at Al Mouj Golf on Thursday morning after his test results for Coronavirus (Covi-19) came back negative.
Gagli had entered self-isolation on Wednesday as a precaution after exhibiting flu-like symptoms. His roommate Edoardo Molinari also went into self-isolation in a separate room as a further precaution.
The Omani Ministry of Health subsequently cleared both players to leave self-isolation and participate in the tournament at 12.15pm after the negative result. Due to the exceptional circumstances, they were reinstated as an addition to the field in Muscat and teed off as a two-ball at 1.30pm.
Gagli posted four birdies in his opening round and bogeyed the 17th hole before fading light stopped play. He resumed with a closing par on Friday morning for a round of 69 and then carded five birdies and two bogeys in second round of 70 to move to five under par, four shots adrift of Stephen Gallacher (67) of Scotland and Denmark’s Rasmus Højgaard (68) who share the clubhouse lead on nine under par.
“It was a strange situation but I would like to thank all the European Tour staff, including Keith Pelley, Tournament Director Miguel Vidaor and my friend Paolo de le Feld from Player Relations, as well as the Ministry of Health in Oman, who have done an unbelievable job because I’m playing the tournament now. It was a strange situation but I’m really happy to be out on the course and playing golf.
“After the test came back negative and I found out I could play, when I was on the golf course I felt really relaxed, which helped me a lot. Playing with Edoardo helped too because we are really good friends. Our game is very similar, so it has been easier to play over the last two days.”
Molinari followed his opening round of 70 with a level par 72 to finish on two under par and is seven shots behind the clubhouse leaders.