2014 European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has called for an open-minded approach to deciding whether this year’s edition at Whistling Straits should be held behind closed doors or not.
The havoc caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has meant a number of events had to be either cancelled or postponed, while those that will continue this year will most likely be staged without spectators present.
That has raised a number of questions around the Ryder Cup, which is famous for its loud and hostile crowds.
Players such as Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm have stated that they would prefer the event be held with fans and that it should rather be postponed to next year, instead of completing it in September without them.
‘I wouldn’t jump to conclusions so quick at the moment. I agree the Ryder Cup would not be the same without crowds, but these are uncharted waters. The world has never faced a crisis like this in modern times,’ McGinley said.
The Irishman famously captained the European team to victory at Gleneagles in Scotland back in 2014 and has since been involved behind the scenes.
He fully believes, though, that golf should be careful of trying to occupy a high pedestal in this time of crisis and not come to the fore as the exception.
‘There is a lot of implications here for cancelling, not just financial ones. We have got to be careful in the sport of golf that we don’t come across as a privileged sport. It is important that we don’t take that high ground as our sport is holier or better than yours and would miss the atmosphere too much.
‘Also, where is the world going to be in a few months’ time? Maybe we might find a vaccine, we might have new medical procedures in place that can help with the dealing of this virus.
‘There is a lot of things to be considered here and it is important to keep all your options open at the moment. Ideally we would want it with crowds but we must also consider other options. There is a lot more involved that just playing it in front of a crowd.’
When it comes to this year’s #RyderCup, there are plenty of ‘bigger hurdles’ to clear than just team selection.
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) May 5, 2020