Full steam ahead for Ryder Cup, says Euro captain Harrington

(Reuters) - There are no plans to postpone September’s Ryder Cup in Wisconsin, European captain Padraig Harrington said on Wednesday in response to a British media report that said the event was likely to be delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

FILE PHOTO: Golf - Ryder Cup - 2020 Ryder Cup Press Conference - Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Britain - September 18, 2019 The 2020 Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington during a press conference Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The official Ryder Cup USA twitter feed also described the report in Britain’s Telegraph as “inaccurate”.

The Ryder Cup, a biennial team event between the United States and Europe, is jointly owned and operated by the PGA of America and the European Tour.

“September is a long way off,” Harrington said on Irish radio station Today FM.

“So there’s no change to the situation at all at this stage. I know there’s been some rumors and they had to put out a statement to say there’s been no change, but there’s definitely no change.”

The responses follow the Telegraph report that the Ryder Cup was “expected” to be postponed, “with the golf authorities rapidly reaching the decision that their most lucrative spectacle should not be jammed into a schedule that is contracting by the week due to the coronavirus crisis.”

The Ryder Cup is scheduled for Whistling Straits on the shores of Lake Michigan from Sept. 25-27.

The event has previously been delayed by 12 months from 2001 until 2002 following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, and has since been played in even-numbered years.

Golf’s calendar has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak along with most other sports.

The year’s first two major championships, April’s Masters and May’s PGA Championship, have already been postponed. The Masters says it hopes to play the tournament at “some later date”, while the PGA is aiming for a “summer” date.

The U.S.-based PGA Tour, which runs the game’s biggest weekly circuit, has canceled all tournaments through at least mid-May.

The LPGA Tour has scrapped three tournaments in Asia and postponed three American events, including the ANA Inspiration major that had been scheduled for California early next month.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Toby Davis