After the schedules of every professional golf tour on the planet were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, speculation is rife that the Ryder Cup will be delayed a year due to fans not being able to attend. Should that happen? Two of our writers disagree…
‘Do we really want to see the Ryder Cup squeezed between two majors?’
I had a horrible feeling at the start of 2020 that we might be a bit “golfed out” come the Ryder Cup, writes Alex Perry. Between March and July we were going to have the Players, the Masters, the PGA Championship, the US Open, the Open AND the Olympics before we even started thinking about September’s Ryder Cup.
How times have changed. Now we’re in this strange period of unknown. The PGA Championship now has an optimistic August date, while the US Open has been shunted back to September – the week before the Ryder Cup – and the Masters is now in November.
Do you really want to see a Ryder Cup squeezed into all of that? Player make no secret that the majors take their mental and physical toll more than any other competition, particularly at a US Open. Sending players to play a Ryder Cup just days later doesn’t sit well.
Moving it to 2021 is the sensible option. And it takes the competition back to its rightful place in odd-numbered years – it was postponed in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.
The Ryder Cup is incredible and is the second best sporting occasion I’ve ever attended – Torquay United 2-0 Cambridge in the 2009 Conference Play-offs final, since you ask – and it will, as always, be worth the wait.
‘It’s important for golf that the Ryder Cup remains on the calendar’
It’s often claimed that the Ryder Cup is the third biggest sporting event on any calendar behind the Olympics and football’s World Cup, writes Mark Townsend. Wherever you pitch it it’s clearly the biggest event on any golfing year and, as long as there are no health issues, it should be played this year.
We’ve already missed a huge chunk of the season and the emphasis will be to get the four majors and the Ryder Cup played. For all manner of reasons the regular events are a big miss from the calendar but we need the big ones and now more than ever.
This is when anyone who otherwise have no interest in the game sit down in front of the TV and get into golf. This is a big way of getting people into the game. It’s not four rounds of stroke play where, even for the most avid fan, things can seem a little never-ending.
The Ryder Cup is three days of Europe vs the United States and, if anything, it goes far too quickly. The interest never drops and golf, for 72 hours at least, appears as exciting as anything else out there.
If it is played then they’ll come to a logical decision on how to pick the teams. Maybe a handful of players will feel hard done by but this is the most unique of situations and just to get it on at Whistling Straits would be the lift that all of us are going to need.
Whenever the Ryder Cup happens it will be magical, let’s hope we get to see it later this year.
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