The 2020 Ryder Cup has been postponed

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2020 Ryder Cup postponed until 2021

It's the announcement we've all been expecting and dreading: the 2020 Ryder Cup has been postponed until 2021. 

The 2020 Ryder Cup was scheduled for Sept 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. The location will remain the same but will now be played September 21-26, 2021. 

“Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host The 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.

“It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible. Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call.

“We are grateful to Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners at the PGA Tour for their flexibility and generosity in the complex task of shifting the global golf calendar.

“As disappointing as this is, our mandate to do all we can to safeguard public health is what matters most. The spectators who support both the U.S. and European sides are what make The Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option. 

“We stand united with our partners from Ryder Cup Europe, the NBC Sports Group, Sky and our other broadcast partners around the world. We look forward to delivering The Ryder Cup’s renowned pageantry, emotion and competitive drama to a global audience in 2021.” 

The 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits has been postponed

Guy Kinnings, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director, said: “The Ryder Cup is rightly celebrated as one of the world’s greatest sporting occasions, made special and totally unique in our sport by the fervent atmosphere created by the passionate spectators of both sides.

“While that point is significant, it is not as important as the health of the spectators which, in these difficult times, is always the main consideration. We considered all options including playing with a limited attendance but all our stakeholders agreed this would dilute the magic of this great occasion.

“We therefore stand beside our partners at the PGA of America in the decision to postpone The Ryder Cup for a year and join with them in extending our thanks to the PGA Tour for their willingness to help by moving the date of the Presidents Cup.

“We also thank NBC, Sky and our many broadcast partners around the globe, in addition to the worldwide partners of this great event, whose support and commitment are second to none.”

With the decision to play The 2020 Ryder Cup in September 2021, all subsequent Ryder Cups after Whistling Straits will also shift to odd years:

Future Ryder Cup dates and venues

– 2023/Marco Simone Golf and Country Club (Rome, Italy);

– 2025/Bethpage Black (Farmingdale, New York);

– 2027/Adare Manor (County Limerick, Ireland);

– 2029/Hazeltine National Golf Club (Chaska, Minnesota);

– 2031/Europe (to be determined);

– 2033/The Olympic Club (San Francisco);

– 2035/Europe (to be determined);

– 2037/Congressional Country Club (Bethesda, Maryland).

The Presidents Cup – which was slated to be played in late September 2021 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina – will also be played a year later than planned, in 2022.

The next Ryder Cup in Europe, originally scheduled for Rome in 2022, will be pushed back a year, to 2023. 

That's bad news for the European Tour, which was already under financial strain and will now have to wait an extra 12 months for the event that brings in a huge amount of money and, to some extent, helps make the European Tour financially sustainable.

“These two premier international team events are lifted by the spirit of the fans,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “With the uncertainty of the current climate, we fully support The Ryder Cup’s decision to delay a year in order to ensure fans could be a part of the incredible atmosphere in Wisconsin, and the delay of this year’s Presidents Cup was the right decision in order to allow for that option. 

“We are thankful that our global partners, our friends at Quail Hollow Club and all associated with the Presidents Cup and the Junior Presidents Cup have approached this change with a unified, positive spirit. We are confident the move will give us even more runway as we bring the Presidents Cup to Charlotte in 2022.”

Ryder Cup postponed – the players' view

“Having a Ryder Cup without fans is not a Ryder Cup,” said world number one Rory McIlroy earlier this year. “It wouldn’t be a great spectacle, there’d be no atmosphere.”

Rory McIlroy celebrates with Ryder Cup fans at Le Golf National in 2018

Brooks Koepka had a similar view: “I personally don’t want to play if there’s no fans,” he said. “I don’t see a point in playing it.”

But Europe's Justin Rose was hoping to play the Ryder Cup this year, even if that meant playing without fans: "For me, if there’s an opportunity to play then we need to embrace it. I know the Ryder Cup is about fans, and there’s no doubt the players draw off the energy of the crowd, but millions and millions more watch it on TV. If it’s interesting and intriguing to a TV audience, then I think it’s valid to go and play."

Fans are a large part of what make the Ryder Cup so special.