2020 Ryder Cup Postponed Over Absence of Fans

2020 Ryder Cup Postponed Over Absence of Fans Photo: TT
2020 Ryder Cup postponed over absence of fans

The 2020 Ryder Cup, the biennial golf competition between teams from the USA and Europe has been postponed after it was decided that it would not be possible to have fans attending the three-day event. Scheduled to be played at the Whistling Creek course in Wisconsin in September the two continents take it in turn to host the event it will now take place in 2021, with the following tournament, which is due to take place in Rome, shifted back in turn to 2023.

The Ryder Cup has become one of the highlights of the golfing calendar, after the decision was made to change the format from one featuring sides between the USA and Great Britain and Ireland, to one incorporating the rest of Europe as well.

Although highly lucrative in terms of sponsorship and TV broadcasting rights, one of the features of the Ryder Cup is that the players themselves receive not a cent for taking part in it. Instead the worlds leading golfers from the two continents strive for selection because of the honour and the prestige that it brings.

If there is a reward for them taking part, it comes from the adrenalin and buzz that they get from the fans that throng the courses where the events are held. And it is their absence because of the coronavirus pandemic that has ultimately led to the postponement.

Organisers had explored ways in which the Cup could still be held, including staging it behind closed doors, or with a limited number of fans in attendance. However, several players have made it clear that, without fans, they were not prepared to play the event, effectively forcing the hand of the Ryder Cup executive board. Deprive the tournament of some of the worlds best players and it immediately loses much of its cachet and marketing appeal.

Whether the world health situation, and particularly that in America, allows the event to go ahead in 14 months time in the presence of fans is another question.

That, however, is a matter for another day.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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