Ryder Cup could fall flat without fans, says Steve Stricker
The United States’ Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker fears the event could be “a yawner” if held behind closed doors.
Europe’s defence of the trophy, led by Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, is scheduled to take place at Whistling Straits on September 25-27 but there has been continued uncertainty since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Stricker suggested plans would need to be in place to proceed or postpone by the end of the month but showed his distaste for the likeliest compromise option – golf without supporters in attendance.
Speaking to Golf Affect Radio, he said: “This event is made by the fans. If it was without fans, it almost would be a yawner of an event.
“To cheat out the Wisconsin fans would be a crime. I hope when we do have it, it can be up to its full potential.
“So far, we’re planning it as if it’s a go, like we’re going to have it but there’s some obstacles that we’re going to have to face. The confidence of the people and the corporate people. It’s going to come down to probably the safety. And who knows, right?”
Rory McIlroy has made similar comments in recent weeks, suggesting “the majority” of players would prefer to delay their involvement than go ahead in a sterile environment.
Stricker said a decision will need to be made in the coming weeks, adding: “They’re going to have to make a decision here, probably within the next two or three weeks.
“The build-up to put up all the stands and all the corporate tents, all that kind of stuff, has to happen in June.”
A postponement would be tough given the timing of the deferred Olympic Games and the presence of the President’s Cup next autumn.
Stricker admitted: “That would be up to the PGA of America and the PGA Tour to hash that out.
“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.”
What you need to know about the new Wilson Dynapower forged irons
Find out if the new Wilson Dynapower forged irons are for you.
WATCH: Golf course maintenance crew lose control of cart and drive it off bridge
Out of control maintenance men can be a curse.
PING refresh PLD Milled putters – and the standards are as high as ever
There is nothing about the 2024 PING PLD Milled putters that is really surprising but the range lives up to the name.
Tiger Woods makes rare wood change in adjusted 2024 bag
Tiger Woods makes a big change.
11 of Texas’ best exclusive golf courses that you’ll probably never play
Texas has a fine selection of private golf courses worth adding to your bucket list.
WATCH: Wife makes no attempt to hide laugher watching husband mishit golf shot
If you can’t laugh at yourself on the golf course bring your wife along.
WATCH: Golfer struggles to get down the green in treacherous wind and rain
What does it take to get you off the golf course?
The 7 best balls for low swing speed golfers to get more distance
Get more distance with these balls.
WATCH: Amateur golfer suffers pain of double-hit attempting chip for bogey
Double-hits are no longer punished the same way as before.
Why Bandon Dunes is a must visit golfing mecca in Oregon
Bandon Dunes is a special golf resort.