Ryder Cup postponed to 2021 to house fans

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The Ryder Cup 2020, a biennial international golf competition for men from the 1920s, was postponed until next year on Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. The P.G.A. of America, hosting the team event contested between players from the United States and Europe, said the game, scheduled for September 25-27, would instead be held September 21-26, 2021 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisc ., Which was scheduled to host this year's competition.

“Unlike other major sporting events played in existing stadiums, we now had to make a decision about building facilities for the Ryder Cup 2020 in Whistling Straits, & # 39; Seth Waugh, the PGA of the US president said. "It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and Wisconsin public authorities were unable to give us any assurance that it would be possible to host a responsible event in September with thousands of spectators."

The event, which alternates between locations in the United States and Europe, is famous for its boisterous, partisan crowds that create a rugged atmosphere that is characteristic of golf. With spectators unable to access golf tournaments around the world this summer, the prospect of a Ryder Cup without fans would have prompted nearly the entire golf community to ask that the event be delayed a year.

Postponing this year's Ryder Cup will have a knock-on effect on the golf schedule of international presidential cup competitions, golf matches between golfers from the United States and a team of players representing the rest of the world, without Europe, and move to the fall of 2022. The Ryder Cup 2022 is scheduled for Rome, will take place instead in 2023.

Before Wednesday's announcement, many of the world's top players encouraged the PGA emphatically urges America to postpone the event, with some insisting that they could boycott the competition if kept without fans.

“Most players would like to see it slide back to 2021 so they can play in the front. crowds and atmosphere that make the Ryder Cup so special, "said Rory McIlroy, the world's top-ranked golfer in May.

A month later, Brooks Koepka, sixth in the world and winner of four major championships, more urged.

"I don't want to play if there are no fans," said Koepka, "the fans are making that event. The fans make that special. "

Asked if he would refuse to play for the US team if the event was held without spectators, Koepka replied," Probably. "

There is also an important commercial aspect of hosting the Ryder Cup, with tens of thousands of tickets sold at premium prices and the golf course grounds dotted with giant corporate hospitality tents. These terms could potentially to be repeated in 2021, although that is far from certain.

Although disappointed with the postponement, Steve Stricker, the captain of the US Ryder Cup, said he believed the new timetable offered an opportunity in 2021 , "To show the event as it was intended."

It is the second time the Ryder Cup has been postponed this century. In 2001, when the attacks on the World Trade Center two weeks before the game in England, the event was postponed to 2002.

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