World No. 1 tells BBC Sport that if fans can’t attend the biennial matches between Europe and U.S. at Whistling Straits because of coronavirus concerns, a delay until 2021 would be ‘the right call’
Predicted: By Rory McIlroy, that the Ryder Cup will not be played this year because of the likelihood that fans won’t be allowed to attend at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., for fear of spreading coronavirus. McIlroy, in an interview with BBC Sport NI, the U.K. network’s affiliate in his native Northern Ireland, said: "I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of crowds and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special. The players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup. If they are not on board with it and don't want to play, then there is no Ryder Cup.” McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, said it would be “the right call” to delay the biennial matches, scheduled for Sept. 25-27, against the Americans. Europe has won nine of the past 11 Ryder Cups, including the 2018 edition in France, to trim the Americans' series lead to 26-14-2. Last month, McIlroy lent his voice to the growing call to delay the matches if fans are to be banned. European captain Padraig Harrington wants the matches to be played, no matter what. McIlroy, 31, a four-time major champion, acknowledged that playing the Americans without U.S. fans to provide the home-course advantage would help the Europeans extend their winning streak. “Obviously, it would be better for the Europeans to play without fans, because we wouldn't have to deal with some of the stuff you have to put up with,” McIlroy said, “but at the same time, it's not a Ryder Cup.”
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