He is a competitor just as Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed are competitors.
Can you imagine for one second Poulter not being pumped up to play for Europe? Or a subdued Reed taking to the course without his Captain America cape on?
The event itself would have done it for them whether there were 40,000 people at Whistling Straits or a stray dog.
Sport is showing it can operate in the current alternative universe. Football and cricket, now that the rain has stopped, have demonstrated a closed environment need not mean a dead spectacle.
Of course it would be preferable to have an atmosphere at Premier League games as the broadcasters have realised with their piped crowd noise but vacant seats are not the end of the world.
The actors not the stage are what is important.
Similarly with horse racing and snooker, both of which have returned without any damage to their integrity. Indeed there was something wholly appropriate to the circumstances of 2020 in Serpentine’s socially distant Derby win.
But of all the sports that have tiptoed back it is golf which has sat most comfortably with a vacant backdrop.
The quality of the play on the PGA Tour since its resumption and the nip-and-tuck of the tournaments themselves has been unaffected by the absence of audience. Expect the same from the European Tour which returned yesterday.
For the viewer the absence of a gallery robs them of little. It is actually a blessing with the American coverage as brain-dead yells of ‘get in the hole’ or ‘mashed potato’ are muted at source.
Golf is not a stadium sport in normal times and as television entertainment in these abnormal times, it has held up in a vacuum.
Even as a silent movie, a Ryder Cup would have been compelling.
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