FILE PHOTO: Jan 11, 2019; Honolulu, HI, USA; PGA golfer Steve Stricker walks off the green after finishing on the 18th hole during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – Holding golf’s Ryder Cup later this year without fans present due to the COVID-19 pandemic would almost make the event “a “yawner”, U.S. captain Steve Stricker has said.
Golf’s calendar has been decimated by the novel coronavirus outbreak, with three of the sport’s four majors rescheduled and the British Open cancelled.
The biennial Ryder Cup competition between the United States and Europe is scheduled for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and fans are unlikely to be able to attend if it goes ahead.
“This event is made by the fans. If it was without fans, it almost would be a yawner of an event,” Stricker told Golf Affect Radio. “To cheat out the Wisconsin fans would be a crime. I hope when we do have it, it can be up to its full potential.
“So far, we’re planning it as it’s a go … But there’s some obstacles that we’re going to have to face,” Stricker added.
Reports have said the PGA of America and the European Tour will decide this month if the event will go ahead.
World number one Rory McIlroy has said he thought the event is unlikely to take place this year and that postponing it would be the right call.
More than 106,000 people have died in the United States due to COVID-19.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford