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Harrington says postponing Ryder Cup until 2021 was correct decision

The European captain vowed ‘that the European players and I will be ready’ next year.

EUROPEAN CAPTAIN PADRAIG Harrington believes postponing the Ryder Cup for a year is the correct decision.

The biennial match between the United States and Europe was due to take place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from 25 September, but organisers decided they did not want to stage the event without fans due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Ryder Cup will instead take place between 24-26 September 2021 and every two years from the on. Rome will host the match in 2023.

padraig-harrington-file-photo Europe captain Padraig Harrington. Source: Adam Davy

“Rescheduling the Ryder Cup was never going to be an easy decision given the many factors to take into consideration but I believe it is the right assessment given the unprecedented circumstances we are facing at this time,” said Harrington.

“When you think of the Ryder Cup you think of the distinctive atmosphere generated by the spectators, such as around the first tee at Le Golf National two years ago.

“If that cannot be responsibly recreated at Whistling Straits in September, then it is correct that we all wait until it can be.

“I know, right now, that September 2021 feels like a long time away but it will come around quickly and I guarantee that the European players and I will be ready when it does.”

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PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh said earlier that public safety was paramount in their decision-making.

The Ryder Cup’s move to September 2021 means the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, will now be played the following September.

The European Tour has confirmed that the qualification process for Team Europe for the 43rd Ryder Cup has been frozen until the beginning of the new year, with all points earned to date on both the European and World Points lists continuing to count.

Officials are looking into the potential for ‘points multipliers’ to be introduced during the 2021 season to ensure the performances of in-form players are given the relevant importance.

“I think the proposals that have been outlined today are fair to all players involved in the qualification process, whether they have already amassed points or will be looking to do so from next January onwards,” added Harrington.

“The 2020 season has already been heavily disrupted, and may continue to be further impacted, by a number of Covid-19 related issues in terms of travel restrictions, quarantine regulations and individual personal concerns.

“I feel that players should not feel under pressure to play and therefore the points tables should not apply from now until the end of the year from a schedule that could change further.

“However, while that is the case, notable performances will still very much count in my considerations for picks as I maintain a keen interest in the form of all possible Ryder Cup team members in tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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