Europe’s Rory McIlroy reacts after a putt on the 17th green during his Sunday singles match against Justin Thomas of USA at the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Will this year’s Ryder Cup still be played, even if fans aren’t allowed to attend? A little more than a month ago one of Europe’s leading stars, Rory McIlroy, came out against the idea and in the past few days he doubled down on his stance.
“My personal hunch is that I don’t see how it is going to happen, so I do not think that it will happen,” the world’s top-ranked golfer told BBC Sport Northern Ireland on Tuesday. “I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of crowds and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special.”
This year’s matches at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin have not moved from their original dates of Sept. 25-27. But the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on golf’s schedule, and upended its stakeholders’ plans for holding events.
Major tours around the world have been suspended since mid-March, three men’s majors have been re-scheduled to later dates and one—the Open Championship—canceled. The PGA Tour plans to resume its season June 11 at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, but that event and each of the next three, at least, will take place without fans. Organizers of other events, including the PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Ryder Cup, are also evaluating whether they’ll allow spectators or not.