Wisconsin put back a year

Harrington happy with Ryder Cup postponement

Fans are key to Ryder Cup (pic: SNS Group)

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has welcomed the decision to postpone the event for a year due to Covid-19.

The biennial clash with the USA was scheduled to be played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin on 25-27 September.

However, with the event unable to be staged safely with fans in attendance, the PGA of America took the decision to postpone it 12 months to 24-26 September 2021.

“For me, it was very messy behind the scenes,” said Harrington. “The decision was based on health and safety but trying to get organised behind the scenes, it was going to be incredibly difficult to pull a team together that was fair and representative, and all the complications that go with it.

“For example, what happens if a player gets Covid? What happens if there’s a cluster? Do players have to quarantine?”

The 48-year-old added: “The team atmosphere the crowd generate, that would’ve been missed. When you win in a tournament it’s very exciting but you don’t get the same experience as you would at the Ryder Cup.

“I’ve seen over the years, the amount of players that come out of their shell in terms of their personality because of the crowds and that would be missed.”

The European Tour has frozen the qualification process for the team until the start of 2021.

Rome was due to host the Ryder Cup in 2022 but that will now go ahead in the Eternal City in 2023.

The Ladies European Tour, meanwhile, will resume next month with the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open taking place at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian. The tournament will take place without spectators from 13-16 August.

The Women’s British Open will also be staged behind closed doors, on the scheduled date of 20-23 August at Royal Troon.

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