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Harrington in the dark over plans to postpone Ryder Cup to 2021


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European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington says event may go ahead with no fans

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington says event may go ahead with no fans

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington says event may go ahead with no fans

European Ryder Cup skipper Pádraig Harrington insisted last night he had not been informed that the event is set to be postponed until 2021.

"I haven't been informed of that and I'd expect I'd be in the first group to know," Harrington said in a text.

The Dubliner said it was "made-up stuff" when the 'Daily Telegraph' first reported in March that the September 25-27 clash at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin would be moved to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And he took a similar stance last night after the 'Guardian' reported that on foot of yesterday's announcement that August's US PGA Championship in San Francisco will be played behind closed doors, the postponement of the Ryder Cup until 2021 will be made official by the PGA of America, the European Tour and local government officials next week.

While the matches are still officially set to go ahead from September 25-27, playing without fans is not considered viable and postponement is now seen as the most responsible solution as 14-day quarantine restrictions remain in place for visitors arriving in the US where the Covid-19 pandemic has caused more than 120,000 deaths.

A postponement until 2021 would free up the last week in September and, should health regulations allow it, give the European Tour the chance to green-light the $7 million Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet, which was scheduled for late May.

It could also herald a centenary Ryder Cup for Adare Manor in 2027 rather than 2026.

The Ryder Cup has been played in "odd" years since the 2001 edition at The Belfry was put back a year due to the 9/11 terror attacks.

But a move to 2021 would push back the next European staging in Rome from 2022 to 2023, meaning the event's return to Adare Manor in 2026 would have to be moved back 12 months to 2027 - the centenary of the event's first staging.

Irish Independent