US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker says he would ‘hate’ it if this year’s event at Whistling Straits is completed behind closed doors.
The much-anticipated clash between the US and European teams is set to highlight a compromised new golf schedule but the question on everyone’s lips remain whether or not spectators will be allowed to attend.
Stricker told The Golf Affect that a decision on that is due to be made in the “next two to three weeks,’ but emphasises it will be ‘almost a yawn’ if fans were to be omitted from Wisconsin.
‘Personally, I would hate for that to happen. I mean, this event is made by the fans. To me, if it was without the fans it almost would be a yawner of an event. The passion, I don’t know if it would be there,’ Stricker said.
‘The fans create all that unbelievable atmosphere that we play in front of. And without the fans, I don’t know. It still would be a nice event, but I think the fans make it everything. And to cheat out the fans of Wisconsin, I think would be a crime. So, I just hope that when we do have it, it can be up to its full potential.
‘So, you’ve got to kind of look into a crystal ball and no one knows, really, no one knows what’s going to happen. It’s a wait-and-see for me, but we’re going ahead with planning as it’s going to happen, and hopefully it does.’
The 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, though, is open for the postponement of the event in order to make it more accommodating to fans and players involved, while eliminating further health risks.
World No 1 Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Lee Westwood are just some of the golfers, who have already publicly stated that they would also rather have the Ryder Cup moved to 2021, instead of competing in front of empty galleries.
‘I think they would just push everything back. That’s what happened at 9-11. When it happened back in 2001, they canceled that year’s Ryder Cup and moved it to 2002, and that’s how we got on the even years for having the Ryder Cup,’ added Stricker.
‘Have the Ryder Cup in June . It’s also an Olympic year next year so I think there’s just so much going on and there’s so much movement and fluidity that no one can really make an informed decision at this time.’