Eddie Pepperell to miss PGA Championship and hopes to play UK events
"There might be some golf to be played in the UK in July and August, so I will prioritise that ahead of one major championship in San Francisco"
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 21/05/20 4:13pm
Eddie Pepperell has confirmed he has no plans to travel to the United States for the PGA Championship in August and has questioned the logistics of overseas players competing on the PGA Tour.
Pepperell intends to prioritise playing on the European Tour if rumours of a run of events in the UK starting at the end of July come to fruition, and he feels it is not worthwhile to go through an exhaustive process of quarantine and testing just to play in one major championship.
"Even if the rules were to change, and if the rumours from the European Tour are true and there might be some golf to be played in the UK in July and August in a run, I will prioritise that ahead of one major championship in San Francisco," Pepperell told Sky Sports News.
"Playing the UK events makes more sense to me, and I can't see myself going anywhere outside of Europe, and I've got a holiday booked in Ibiza in July!"
Pepperell also hinted that the scheduled return of PGA Tour competitive action next month was too soon, insisting he would rather wait until the world returns "closer to some kind of normality" before resuming.
"The unfortunate position PGA Tour players are in, as things stand, is that this season is going to count," he added. "If this season was rolling forward and there were no eligibility issues I think that would definitely change the decisions some players are making.
"They're probably going to be forced to play, but I don't think you can adhere to the rules 100 per cent, so if we're going to go ahead with this, we have to acknowledge there are going to be some infractions. This may put the players in an awkward position.
"But it's a phenomenal operation that they're going to have to come up with over the next month. Is it worth it? I suppose many people would say that it is.
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"My personal opinion is I would rather wait until we can get back closer to some kind of normality and then come back than force it to happen, but that doesn't mean I think it's wrong."
Pepperell's opinions are extended to the Ryder Cup in September, which looks likely to go ahead without spectators despite the likes of Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm expressing their concerns.
"I don't think it would be the same, and the most concerning thing is what Rory and Jon Rahm have said. Neither of them would feel like it would be a proper Ryder Cup without fans," Pepperell said.
"They're the two guys you need to be playing really well at Whistling Straits if you want to win it, so if we care about the result, then we shouldn't be thinking about playing it.
"The spectacle of the Ryder Cup wouldn't even be close to what it should be. If there is one event in golf that really matters in terms of the atmosphere, it's the Ryder Cup.
"We all know what Padraig Harrington is like. He's very intense and so invested he will just take that positive approach, and that's to his credit. I can understand why he would still want it to go ahead, but as a fan, and as someone who's likely to be watching, it wouldn't be a great spectacle.
"The Masters could work without fans in a nice, quaint kind of way, but it would be weird to see the US Open, in New York, without the fans. You'll still probably hear them, though, even if they're locked down!
"Why not just wait until things are back and we can enjoy all golf as a spectacle again?"