Coronavirus: It's not a Ryder Cup without fans – McIlroy would prefer postponement

By Sports Desk April 21, 2020

Rory McIlroy would prefer the Ryder Cup be postponed until 2021 than played without fans this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Whistling Straits is set to host the event in September, just days after the rescheduled U.S. Open.

The PGA Tour is planning to resume without fans in attendance in June as COVID-19 continues to impact sport around the world.

Northern Irishman McIlroy said he would rather the Ryder Cup be postponed until next year than played with no fans present.

"I get the financial implications for everyone involved … but having a Ryder Cup without fans, it's not a Ryder Cup," he said during an Instagram Live with TaylorMade on Tuesday.

"For me, I would much rather them delay it until 2021 to play the Ryder Cup than play it at Whistling Straits without fans.

"That's from a European, going to America, knowing that I'm going to get abuse. Obviously it would be better for Europeans to play without fans because we wouldn't deal with some of the stuff that you have to put up with, but at the same time it's not a Ryder Cup. It wouldn't be a great spectacle, there'd be no atmosphere.

"If it came to whether they had to choose between not playing the Ryder Cup or playing it without fans, I would say just delay it for a year and play it in '21."

The 2022 Ryder Cup is scheduled to be held in Italy, which has been one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 with more than 24,600 deaths.

McIlroy said pushing back this year's event could also give Italy more time to prepare.

"If they do delay it until '21 the next Ryder Cup is supposed to be in Italy and we know how affected Italy was with coronavirus and COVID-19 so it gives that country an extra year to prepare for the Ryder Cup in '23 instead of in '22," he said.

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