Mon, 10 Aug 2020

Golf's Ryder Cup to be postponed - report

News24
08 Jul 2020, 16:12 GMT+10

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Passionate fan involvement - in a sport more known for a sedate atmosphere - has long been a hallmark of the Ryder Cup.

With Covid-19 cases still soaring in the United States, it seems unlikely fans would be admitted to the event on its regularly scheduled dates.

Even if a limited number were allowed, travel restrictions could still be a factor for fans wanting to come from Europe.

World No 1 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and fellow four-time major champion Brooks Koepka of the United States have both said they would not want to see the matches played without spectators, whose cheers and songs create much of the atmosphere that makes the team event unique.

US captain Steve Stricker and Europe captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland have agreed they don't want to see a Ryder Cup without spectators.

"I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of the atmosphere they want to play," McIlroy told BBC Northern Ireland back in May, when England's Lee Westwood said spectators were "essential" to the event.

Golf, like virtually all professional sports, shut down in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The PGA Tour has resumed play but has yet to admit spectators to tournaments.

The European Tour won't resume until 22 July, with Covid-19 testing and social distancing in place and without spectators on the course.

But the Ryder Cup isn't the only big Covid casualty on the golf calendar.

The British Open, scheduled for July at Royal St George's Golf Club in Kent, was cancelled.

The Masters was pushed from April to November, the PGA Championship switched from May to August and the US Open moved from June to September.

The rescheduling of the Ryder Cup for 2021 will impact the Presidents Cup, the biennial match play contest between the United States and an International team from non-European countries.

ESPN reported that the Presidents Cup - scheduled for 30 September - 3 October at Quail Hollow in North Carolina - will now be held in 2022.

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