Rory McIlroy would prefer the match to be postponed rather than played without fans
McIlroy: "Ryder Cup Without Fans Is Not A Ryder Cup"
Talks are escalating over whether to stage this year's Ryder Cup without fans after the PGA of America's CEO Seth Waugh revealed that the organisation are looking at all options.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Ryder Cup may have no choice but to either postpone until 2021 or go ahead with a spectator-less match.
With no current vaccine for the virus, worldwide travel restrictions and lockdowns in place along with no current date for a European Tour restart, the Ryder Cup is beginning to look in danger.
However, Europe, and the world's, star player says that he would prefer the match to be postponed rather than played on an empty course.
Rory McIlroy was speaking on a TaylorMade Instagram Live chat where he said that the Ryder Cup without fans "is not a Ryder Cup."
"I get the financial implications for everyone involved," the World No.1 said.
"There's a lot that goes into putting on the Ryder Cup that people don't appreciate, but having a Ryder Cup without fans is not a Ryder Cup.
"I would much rather they delay it until 2021 than play it at Whistling Straits without fans.
"And that's from a European going to America, knowing that I'm going to get abuse!
"Obviously it would be better for the Europeans to play without fans because we wouldn't have to deal with some of the stuff that you have to put up with, but at the same time it's not a Ryder Cup.
"It wouldn't be a great spectacle, there'd be no atmosphere, so if it came to whether they had to choose between not playing the Ryder Cup or playing it without fans, I would say just delay it a year and play it in 2021."
Playing it in 2021 would get it away from the Olympics in the future, something that the event organisers will be keen to do due to the commercial powerhouse that is the Games.
It would also give the Ryder Cup a centenary celebration in 2027, which would be 100 years after the inaugural match at Worcestor Country Club in 1927.
So, will this year's event go ahead without fans? There's definitely a possibility.
The PGA of America's CEO Seth Waugh admitted that “we have begun to talk about whether you could create some virtual fan experience, and we’re going to try to be as creative as we can.”
The Ryder Cup is due to take place at Whistling Straits from 25th-27th September, a week after the postponed US Open, a month after the postponed USPGA Championship and six weeks before the postponed Masters.
The Open Championship was cancelled earlier this month.
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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