Rory McIlroy wants the Ryder Cup delayed until 2021 rather than played behind closed doors this year – despite the advantage it would give Europe. The Ryder Cup is due to take place in September in Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
And it looks set to take place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, but McIlory would rather delay the event.
The US team would lose the advantage of the spectators if fans were locked out for the normally rowdy event.
But McIlory admits he’d rather take the brunt of flack from Americans rather than play it in isolation.
“I have a pretty strong view on this,” the world No 1 said.
“I get the financial implications for everyone involved. There’s a lot that goes into putting on the Ryder Cup that people don’t probably know or appreciate – but having a Ryder Cup without fans is not a Ryder Cup.
“For me I would much rather they delay it until 2021 than play it at Whistling Straits without fans. And that’s from a European going to America, knowing that I’m going to get abuse!”
McIlroy admits he feels more pressure playing in the Ryder Cup than in majors because of the fans.
He added: “Obviously it would be better for Europeans to play without fans because we wouldn’t have to deal with some of the stuff that you have to put up with – but at the same time it’s not a Ryder Cup.
“It wouldn’t be a great spectacle, there’d be no atmosphere, so if it came to whether they had to choose between not playing the Ryder Cup or playing it without fans, I would say just delay it for a year and play it in 2021.
“If they do delay it until 2021, the next Ryder Cup is supposed to be in Italy, and we know how badly affected Italy was by coronavirus, so it gives that country an extra year to prepare for the Ryder Cup in 2023 instead of 2022.
“This is only one opinion but if we have to play the Ryder Cup behind closed doors this year, I’d rather just delay it.”
European captain Padraig Harrington has also admitted he doesn’t want the advantage a behind closed doors event would offer his team.