Why the PGA of America is considering playing the 2020 Ryder Cup without fans
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Why the PGA of America is considering playing the 2020 Ryder Cup without fans

The PGA of America is continuing to proceed with the 2020 Ryder Cup being played as scheduled at the end of September at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

However, as the situation changes and evolves throughout the United States, reality is setting in that it's very likely the biennial team matches cannot be played with the kind of crowds that have become synonymous with one of the best events in golf. In fact, there's the possibility that the Ryder Cup won't be able to be played with a crowd whatsoever.

With that reality in their thinking, the PGA of America is considering the possibility of playing the Ryder Cup without fans.

“It’s hard to imagine one without fans,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh on WFAN. “We have begun to talk about whether you could create some virtual fan experience, and we’re going to try to be as creative as we can. It’s [still] to be determined, frankly, whether you could hold it without fans or not.”

In reaction, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy said he would rather see the event postponed a year than played without the Ryder Cup dynamic that even visiting players love.

"I get the financial implications for everyone involved," McIlroy said during an Instagram Live with TaylorMade on Tuesday. "There's a lot that goes into putting on the Ryder Cup that people don't appreciate, but having a Ryder Cup without fans is not a Ryder Cup. I would much rather they delay it until 2021 than play it at Whistling Straits without fans. And that's from a European going to America, knowing that I'm going to get abuse!"

McIlroy acknowledges that it would be easier for him and his fellow Europeans to compete without American fans to heckle and bother him, but he wants that obstacle.

"Obviously it would be better for the Europeans to play without fans because we wouldn't have to deal with some of the stuff that you have to put up with, but at the same time it's not a Ryder Cup," he said. "It wouldn't be a great spectacle, there'd be no atmosphere, so 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 a year and play it in 2021."

Why is a fanless Ryder Cup being considered?

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About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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