June 23, 2020 / 3:52 AM / 13 days ago

Report: Ryder Cup will be postponed until 2021

The Ryder Cup matches scheduled to be held Sept. 25-27 in Wisconsin will be postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Guardian of London reported Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Golf - Ryder Cup - European Tour announce captain for 2020 Ryder Cup - Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Britain - January 8, 2019. General view of the Ryder Cup before the announcement. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

According to the newspaper, the official announcement regarding the event at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., is expected to come next week.

The move also would have a permanent effect on the Ryder Cup schedule, per the Guardian, with the biennial matches moved to odd-numbered years moving forward.

The 2022 event, scheduled for Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, would be moved to 2023. The next U.S. home series after Whistling Straits would occur in 2025 at Bethpage Black in Farmington, N.Y. The 2026 event, set for Adare Manor in Ireland, would instead be held in 2027 — the year of the Ryder Cup’s 100th anniversary.

GolfChannel.com reported that a PGA of America spokesman declined to comment on the Monday report.

The Ryder Cup switched from being played in odd-numbered years to being held in even-numbered years when the 2001 edition was postponed to 2002 in the wake of 9/11.

The reported 2020 postponement comes after much discussion about whether the Ryder Cup should be contested with no fans on the course or with a limited gallery. Either option would severely diminish one of the event’s top attributes, a partisan crowd cheering on the home team and attempting to rattle the visiting team.

However, with coronavirus cases on the rise in much of the United States and with travel restrictions still in place, Ryder Cup organizers decided to wait a year, according to the Guardian.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases has risen over the past week in Wisconsin, according to the state’s Department of Health Services.

Team U.S. star Brooks Koepka said last week of the Ryder Cup, “I don’t want to play if there’s no fans. ... The fans make that event. The fans make that special.”

Team Europe star Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland said in late May, “I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of crowds and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special. The players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup. If they are not on board with it and don’t want to play, then there is no Ryder Cup.

“I see it being pushed back until 2021, and honestly, I think that will be the right call.”

Team Europe won the most recent Ryder Cup, beating Team USA 17 1/2-10 1/2 in September 2018 at Le Golf National near Paris.

Earlier Monday, the PGA of America confirmed that the PGA Championship would be held without fans this summer at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park. The event, originally scheduled for May 14-17, will be played Aug. 6-9 as the lone major of the 2019-20 PGA Tour season.

The PGA Tour was shut down in mid-March due to the pandemic, but it restarted — with no fans present — at the Charles Schwab Challenge, June 11-14 in Fort Worth, Texas. Fans will be allowed to return to courses beginning with the Memorial Tournament, July 16-19 in Dublin, Ohio.

The season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs are set to be contested from mid-August to early September.

The U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., was postponed from mid-June to Sept. 17-20, and the Masters was pushed back from early April to Nov. 12-15 in Augusta, Ga. The Open Championship, scheduled to be held July 16-19 at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, was canceled.

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