The Ryder Cup will not be played in 2020, with the biennial matches between the United States and Europe being pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event will now be played from Sept. 24-26, 2021, remaining at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe announced July 8.
The decision to reschedule was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well state and local officials in Wisconsin.
“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.”
US captain Steve Stricker had been hopeful there could somehow be fans at Whistling Straits, but that would be a pre-requisite for having the matches.
“While it is disappointing that the Ryder Cup won’t be played this year, the decision to reschedule is the right thing to do under the circumstances,” said Stricker. “At the end of the day, we want to stage a Ryder Cup that will rival all other Ryder Cups in my home state of Wisconsin, and now we have the opportunity to showcase the event as it was meant to be seen.”
The qualifying and selection processes for both the American and European teams will be changed and announced in due course.
Ryder Cup Europe has announced a freeze on the qualifying process from now through the start of 2021. Points accrued to this point will carry forward. Captain Padraig Harrington will still get three captain’s picks, with nine players drawn from the world points list and European points lists.
As a result of the postponement, the next European-hosted Ryder Cup, set to played in Rome, Italy, will now be played in 2023. Additionally, the PGA Tour-run Presidents Cup, which was set to played at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte in September 2021, will be pushed back a year to Sept. 22-25, 2022.
“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.”
Moving forward, future Ryder Cup venues will host in odd-numbered years, with the Presidents Cup played in even-numbered years — the same arrangement as before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The Wells Fargo Championship, which is played annually at Quail Hollow Club, will shift its calendar by a year as well. The 2021 event was to be moved from Charlotte to the D.C. area and the Tour-owned TPC Potomac, but that will be pushed a year forward as well.