For the second time since World War II, the Ryder Cup has been postponed due to concerns about spectator safety.
The tournament was scheduled to take place on September 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It is now being pushed back to the same period (September 24-26) in 2021.
In a statement, Seth Waugh, CEO of PGA of America, said, “As disappointing as it is, our mission to do everything to protect public health is the most important thing.
“The viewers, who support both the US and the European side, make the Ryder Cup a unique and compelling event, and it wasn’t a realistic option to play without it.
“It became clear that our medical experts and the authorities in Wisconsin could not give us the certainty today that a responsible organization of an event with thousands of spectators in September would be possible. Given this uncertainty, we knew that rescheduling was the right call. “
Although professional golf without spectators is back in the US, several leading players – including Rory McIlroy – have spoken out against this year’s Ryder Cup.
In an interview with BBC SportMcIlroy said, “My personal guess is that I don’t see how it will happen, so I don’t think it will.
“I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so they can play in front of an audience and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special.
“The players are the ones who make the Ryder Cup. If you are not there and do not want to play, there is no Ryder Cup. “
However, His argument was not well received in some areas. We spoke to our ambassador and former captain of the Europe Ryder Cup, Bernard Gallacher, to find out what he thinks. Here’s what he had to say …
The players’ comments
We know why Rory and Brooks Koepka don’t want to play. You want to play with the audience and feel the special atmosphere of the Ryder Cup, and I understand that.
But I really didn’t like the tone of their comments. They basically said that they don’t play unless there are crowds. These guys should just keep going – play golf and let the decisions be made by people who focus on the interests of the golf associations and not their own personal preferences. Jordan Spieth said that if asked to play, he would play.
If it were Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer in this situation, they would say: “I am not the one who makes the decisions. If it is in the best interest of the European Tour, PGA Tour and USPGA, I will follow the decision.
It’s like certain players are trying to make decisions on behalf of these associations, and I honestly don’t like that.
They’re great players, but because they’re always in front of the press, people are waiting for them to say something controversial.
Why the Ryder Cup had to be postponed
With the Ryder Cup we try to make things as normal as possible to overcome this difficult time. The Ryder Cup has become a TV spectacle – it’s made for television – and the audience is great.
But I can understand why they put it off. If one of the caddies or players tested positive during the Ryder Cup, it would be a major problem because anyone who came into contact with them would have to isolate themselves.
It’s not bad in a normal week when there are 150 players in the field – they have continued the RBC Heritage, although Nick Watney has been positive. Koepka and a caddy went home, but the other players continued to play.
You can get away with it if there are more golfers. But if there are three or four on each side, or even a golfer on each side, who need to isolate themselves, you can’t get away with it. That was the decisive factor for me.
What this decision means for the future
What if we are in the same position as Thomas Bjørn says next year? There is no guarantee that this will not be the case, but we all hope that it will not.
The European Tour now has no 4-year financial cycle in which it has a surplus during the Ryder Cup year, and is running at a loss for the next 3 years until the tournament comes back.
Now there is an additional year of waiting, which creates a lot of financial pressure. The people who work for the European Tour are likely to need a bank loan to get insurance. It is also putting great financial pressure on the PGA of America, which is another disadvantage.
However, it seems that everyone has reached an amicable agreement. It is a sensible decision and ultimately the right decision.
Hopefully, when the Ryder Cup comes back, it will be bigger than ever, companies will be able to support the Ryder Cup, and TV companies will pay a lot of money for the broadcast.
The European Tour is a strong brand and there is no reason why, like any other large company, it can’t find a way to fund itself in the meantime.
What do you think of the decision to postpone the Ryder Cup? Let us know by tagging us on Twitter @golfcareUK.
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