Ryder Cup: Paul McGinley believes qualification will stay open if event is delayed
Last Updated: 17/03/20 4:26pm
Paul McGinley believes that qualification for the European Ryder Cup team will remain open even if this year's contest is postponed.
The 2020 Ryder Cup is scheduled to be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in September, but the showpiece could be postponed until next year following the suspension of all worldwide Tours due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The situation is similar to 19 years ago, when the 2001 Ryder Cup was postponed for a year following the terrorist attacks in the United States which left the American players understandably unwilling to travel to The Belfry just three weeks later.
Both teams had been finalised shortly before 9/11, and those teams were retained when the contest resumed the following year with qualifying not re-opened.
But McGinley, who holed the winning putt for Europe amid jubilant scenes on the 18th green at The Belfry in 2002, feels that the current qualifying period for both teams will remain open with qualification in the early stages.
"When 9/11 happened just before the 2001 Ryder Cup, the teams were in place about three weeks before the competition was due to take place," McGinley told Sky Sports News. "The stands were all built at The Belfry and everything was ready to go, but then it was cancelled.
"But the same 24 players were kept in place when the Ryder Cup was rescheduled for a year later. There was no re-qualifying, and everyone came back 12 months later.
"So we could be facing the same sort of situation this year but, having said that, qualifying for the European team has only just started and the final team is nowhere near being in place. So, if it is going to be postponed, I would say that qualification would remain open over that period of time.
"But it's just so hard to predict, we just don't know and there are much bigger issues to be worried about at this moment in time."