A Ryder Cup in 2020 would have been awful for several reasons. Alex Perry explains why
It was like a tedious football transfer, but finally golf’s worst-kept secret was out. The Ryder Cup will not be played until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It will now take place at Whistling Straits from September 24-26, 2021.
The move will see the Presidents Cup shift back a year to 2022, and the tournaments will alternate from there, starting with the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy.
- 2021: Whistling Straits
- 2023: Marco Simone G&CC
- 2025: Bethpage
- 2027: Adare Manor
- 2029: Hazeltine
- 2031: TBC (Europe)
- 2033: Olympic Club
- 2035: TBC (Europe)
- 2037: Congressional
The qualifying process for the European team, meanwhile, has been frozen until the new year.
Was moving the Ryder Cup the right decision?
At face value – in that they couldn’t guarantee fans on site at Whistling Straits – absolutely it was.
Fans make the atmosphere at golf events, that’s for sure. The tour events, including the two majors played since the pandemic, have proven successful even behind closed doors. But it wouldn’t work at a Ryder Cup because the fans are a key ingredient to what the competition is all about.
If the likes of Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka were saying it, who are we to argue?
Dig a bit deeper and it becomes more clear it was the right call.
I had a horrible feeling at the start of 2020 that we might be a bit golfed out come the Ryder Cup. Between March and July we were going to have the Players, Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, Open AND the Olympics before we even started moving our attention to Wisconsin.
How times have changed. The PGA Tour was originally meant to be played behind closed doors for four events. That was extended to the entirety of 2020 and possibly beyond.
Did you really want to see a Ryder Cup squeezed into all of that? Players make no secret that the majors take their mental and physical toll more than any other competition, particularly at a US Open. Winged Foot was a slog for everyone except Bryson DeChambeau. No one wants to go straight into a Ryder Cup after that.
Moving it to 2021 takes both the Ryder and Presidents Cups back to their rightful slot in odd- and even-numbered years after the previous postponement in 2001 due to the 9/11 attacks and it allows the Ryder Cup to have a proper 100th birthday event in 2027.
The Ryder Cup is golf’s finest showpiece and it would have been awful to watch players go through the motions in front of empty galleries.
It will be worth the wait.
Do you agree that it’s the right decision? Let me know in the comments below or you can tweet me.