Wisconsin: The Ryder Cup was postponed until 2021 in Wisconsin because of the COVID-19 pandemic that raised too much uncertainty whether the loudest event in golf could be played before spectators.
The announcement Wednesday was inevitable and had been in the works for weeks as the PGA of America, the European Tour and the PGA Tour tried to adjust with so many moving parts.
The Ryder Cup was scheduled for September 25-27 at Whistling Straits, and because of a re-configured golf schedule brought on by the pandemic, that would have been one week after the US Open.
Now, the Ryder Cup will move to September 24-26 in 2021. It’s the second time in the last two decades the Ryder Cup was postponed. It was moved off the odd-numbered years in 2001 because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
‘’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,’’ PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said. ‘‘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.
‘‘The spectators who support both the US and European sides are what make the Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option.’’
The PGA Tour was involved because the Presidents Cup - matches every other year between Americans and an International team from everywhere but Europe - was scheduled for 2021 at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina.
While the Presidents Cup doesn’t have the level of tradition or rivalry as the nearly century-old Ryder Cup, it was a corporate sellout for the PGA Tour. Voiding various vendor contracts figures to be costly for the PGA Tour in a year in which it already has spent millions helping support so many tournaments that were canceled by the shutdown.
The Ryder Cup is the main financial lifeline for the European Tour, and now it must wait until 2023 for the matches in Italy.