The European Team’s Ryder Cup captain, Padraig Harrington, has reiterated the importance of staging the prestigious event in the presence of thousands of passionate fans.
Speaking to the BBC, the two-time Major champion said that the event should rather be postponed than take place behind closed doors.
A new golf schedule was put forward by the governing bodies earlier this week, cancelling the 149th Open Championship in Kent, while postponing the PGA Championship, US Open and Masters to later dates.
The Ryder Cup, though, was not influenced by the rescheduling and will go ahead as planned from the 25-27 September, if the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t continue to cause disruptions.
‘Nobody wants to see the Ryder Cup played without the fans being there.There’s no doubt that it makes the tournament so much better,’ Harrington said.
‘I think the common consensus now is the Ryder Cup will not be played unless the fans are there. Non-golfers and golfers around the world watch the Ryder Cup because of the tension that’s created by the spectators.’
This year’s edition will be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin as the European Team will look to defend their crown after claiming a famous win at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018.
Harrington, though, believes it is important to continue to ensure the safety of everyone involved with the event, including the fans, after the number of cases and deaths in the USA skyrocketed in recent weeks.
‘It’s not something that’s within our control. There are bigger things too than the Ryder Cup. I hope that we get our chance to play. I think it’s something that can bring people together and is something to look forward to and enjoy,’ said Harrington.