Martin Dempster: Postponement of Ryder Cup seems to be imminent

12-month delay on cards for Whistling Straits clash

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington. Picture: Getty.
European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington. Picture: Getty.

O nly a matter of time. After weeks of speculation, it now seems as though an official announcement about this year’s Ryder Cup is imminent, with a 12-month postponement believed to be on the cards.

In truth, that decision will come as no real surprise because, quite frankly, no-one really wanted it to be played without fans at Whistling Straits in September due to coronavirus restrictions.

Regular tour events, perhaps even majors, might just about get away being spectator free for the time being, but not so the Ryder Cup, which is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar.

It makes sense, therefore, for the PGA of America and the European Tour to hit the hold button, as was the case when the 9/11 tragedy led to the scheduled 2001 match being played in 2002 instead at The Belfry.

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It will be frustrating for both Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington, the respective US and European captains, but, deep down, neither of them would have wanted to lead teams into battle without fans creating an atmosphere.

Stricker, a proud Wisconsite, deserves a Ryder Cup in his home state to be the “real thing” and Harrington was already relishing his crack at becoming a winning captain in a raucuous environment on away soil before the world was turned on its head.

Postponment, of course, will mean the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup not only being played in the same year but a few weeks apart, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

The Solheim Cup has grown in stature as a tournament in the past decade and nothing whatsoever would be taken away from it if it has to share the 2021 stage with a Ryder Cup.

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