Earlier in the week, the PGA Tour announced that the Memorial Tournament would reverse course and contest next week’s event without fans, but that is far from the only change to a noteworthy event in 2020.
In a story first broken by the Guardian and ESPN, and formally announced by the PGA of America on Wednesday, the Ryder Cup scheduled for Sept. 22-27 at Wisconsin’s Whistling Straits will be moved to 2021 due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the Presidents Cup, set for Quail Hollow in Charlotte, has been moved to 2022 and the next installment of the Ryder Cup will occur at Italy’s Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in 2023, as the event moves back to odd-numbered years.
“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 PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners at the TOUR for their flexibility and generosity in the complex task of shifting the global golf calendar.”
This postponement was previously discussed, since fans will almost certainly not be able to attend any PGA Tour events to date. It was appearing more likely in recent weeks that this would be the ultimate outcome of the Ryder Cup as multiple golfers, most notably top-ranked Rory McIlroy, stated that the biennial event would not be the same without fans attending.
“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,” McIlroy said to BBC Sport in May. “I see it being pushed back until 2021, and honestly, I think that will be the right call.”
For historical purposes, this is the first time the Ryder Cup has been postponed since 2001, with that reason being the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Ryder Cup was pushed back to 2002 and held at the Belfry in England. The European team earned its largest margin of victory since 1985 in that event. The Presidents Cup was pushed to odd-numbered years as a result.
With this movement, Quail Hollow which is set to host the now 2022 Presidents Cup will be available to host its usual Tour stop, the Wells Fargo Championship. TPC Potomac which was slated to host the 2021 event will now host it in 2022. TPC Potomac last hosted the last edition of the Quicken Loans National in 2018.
The Ryder Cup was first contested in 1927, though, due to World War II it did not occur between 1939 and 1945. A total of four potential events were missed during this time.
Team Europe won the 2018 edition between these two teams, 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National outside Paris. The American side won the most recent event on U.S. soil in 2016, a 17-11 triumph at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.
As for the 2021 event, Steve Stricker is captaining the American side and Padraig Harrington will captain Team Europe. Both sides were considering alternate methods for picking teams already, since pro golf was on hold for two months due to coronavirus.
Below are the current standings for both teams: