Rory McIlroy calls for Ryder Cup delay rather than playing with no fans
"I would much rather they delay it until 2021 than play it at Whistling Straits without fans. And that's from a European going to America, knowing that I'm going to get abuse!"
Last Updated: 22/04/20 3:16pm
Rory McIlroy says he would prefer the Ryder Cup be postponed for a year rather than be played behind closed doors in September.
The tournament currently remains on course to be held from September 25-27 after all main governing bodies in golf announced a revised schedule for 2020, with world No 1 McIlroy set to spearhead Europe's team at Whistling Straits.
But the coronavirus pandemic has raised the prospect of fans being unable to attend the event, with the PGA Tour set to resume in June behind closed doors.
"I get the financial implications for everyone involved," McIlroy said during an Instagram Live with TaylorMade on Tuesday. "There's a lot that goes into putting on the Ryder Cup that people don't appreciate, but having a Ryder Cup without fans is not a Ryder Cup.
"I would much rather they delay it until 2021 than play it at Whistling Straits without fans. And that's from a European going to America, knowing that I'm going to get abuse!
"Obviously it would be better for the Europeans to play without fans because we wouldn't have to deal with some of the stuff that you have to put up with, but at the same time it's not a Ryder Cup.
"It wouldn't be a great spectacle, there'd be no atmosphere, so if it came to whether they had to choose between not playing the Ryder Cup or playing it without fans, I would say just delay it a year and play it in 2021."
The sport's calendar for the year has already been completely rearranged, with The Open Championship cancelled and the other three US-based majors pushed backed.
The USPGA Championship is slated for August, the US Open in September - just a week before the Ryder Cup, and the Masters in November.
It remains to be seen whether the situation will have sufficiently improved to allow any of the competitions to go ahead, but McIlroy has pointed to an additional benefit to delaying the biennial team competition.
The Northern Irishman added: "If they do delay it until 2021, the next Ryder Cup's in Italy, and we know how badly Italy was affected by coronavirus, so it gives them an extra year to prepare for the Ryder Cup in 2023."
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