Padraig Harrington hopeful Ryder Cup can go ahead to give public a sports fix
Europe captain Padraig Harrington is hoping the Ryder Cup can “take one for the world of team sport” and go ahead this year.
The biennial event between Europe and the United States is scheduled to take place from September 25-27 in Wisconsin, although the coronavirus pandemic means it is in doubt.
There have been 13 events cancelled or postponed so far on the PGA Tour, with the action scheduled to resume on June 8.
Players such as Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are not in favour of the event being held behind closed doors – but Harrington wants the much-anticipated event to go ahead for the good of the game.
Harrington admitted on Sky Sports Golf: “None of the players want a Ryder Cup without the fans.
“The reason we play the Ryder Cup is for the glory of being out there, we get the opportunity of being like a footballer out in the middle of a stadium with people cheering.
“That doesn’t happen unless you’re winning a tournament and you’re the home favourite but at the Ryder Cup that happens all the way through for six days.
“The players crave that – they don’t get paid to play – so they crave that opportunity for glory.
“No one wants to play behind closed doors but they (tournament organisers) are keeping a prudent eye on it and they know if the PGA Tour events in June go off well behind closed doors it’s a possibility.
“The players don’t want it but we might have to take one for the world of team sport and put an event on that people can watch. It wouldn’t be the same for us but we’re craving sport on TV.”
The 48-year-old Irishman continued: “I keep saying if they put on any live sport, a lower division football game, we’d all be watching it because we want to see something live, something that’s unexpected.
“The unpredictability of an event would be nice, you don’t realise what you miss.”
Europe were led by Thomas Bjorn when they won the 2018 event and Harrington hinted at a new vice-captain in an interview on Tuesday.
He added on Sky Sports Golf: “I’m trying to be as prepared as I can be…I had a phone call with one of my new – woah, I nearly said the word there, I possibly did say the word there – one of my vice-captains yesterday. Is this live?”
Romain Langasque equals course record to lead Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
The Frenchman recovered from an early bogey with two eagles and eight birdies to reach 11 under par.
Rory McIlroy bemoans ‘ugly year’ and seeks solution to divide in golf world
The arrival of Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has fractured the game in 2022.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.
Rory McIlroy picks up the pace to claim lead ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in Rome
McIlroy’s group looked unlikely to complete their second rounds after taking three hours to play nine holes.
Matt Fitzpatrick leads way at Italian Open despite ‘inconsistent’ display
The US Open champion held a one-shot lead over fellow Englishman Tom Lewis,