Andrew Coltart: I think players have an obligation to go ahead with Ryder Cup

Former Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart believes if this year’s Ryder Cup can go ahead, it should go ahead, even if there won’t be any fans in attendance.

The biennial match play competition between the USA and Europe is still scheduled for September 25 at Whistling Straits, but World No 1 Rory McIlroy is just one of a number of high-profile players who have said they would prefer the tournament be postponed until 2021 if it is not safe for fans to attend due to Covid-19.

Coltart doesn’t see things the same way, however, and believes the players have an obligation to go out there and perform and give the golf-loving public something to smile about after an incredibly difficult and challenging year.

“I think if we can go ahead with it we should go ahead with it,” he said.

“I totally accept that won’t be an opinion shared by absolutely everybody, but nonetheless I think the world has been through a tumultuous period, a very difficult period for a lot of people. Some people have come through unscathed, other people have been nowhere near as fortunate.

“Golf is a great opportunity to heal the world – not just the sporting world – but the world in general, and I think the Ryder Cup is a fantastic opportunity for that.

“What better than two continents going at it in the cauldron of the Ryder Cup?

“Yes, there won’t be the fans, but people back home are crying out for some sense of normality, something to help pick their lives up from what has been a very, very difficult time.

“I accept that it won’t be like the Ryder Cups of years gone by. It will be very difficult for them [the players and captains] as they’ll always be remembered as the players who played in that Ryder Cup or captained that Ryder Cup.

“But I think there’s maybe an obligation to the world to get that game played and to try and get us back to a sense of normality.”

Coltart also agreed with former Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn’s view that we don’t know what the future will bring, so we should make the most of the opportunities we have while we have them.

“Also, Thomas Bjorn made a good point that we don’t know where we’re going to be in 12 months, we don’t know whether the vaccine is going to be effective or whether they’re going to have a vaccine,” he added.

“If the event has to be suspended again because of another spike… goodness me, the economic fallout of that could be catastrophic.”