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As rumours persist that this year’s Ryder Cup could be played behind closed doors, Brooks Koepka has reiterated his preference that the match be postponed.
Appearing on the Golf Channel, the world No.3 was unequivocal in his belief that this year’s match at Whistling Straits – scheduled to take place from September 25-27 – should be pushed back by a year if the COVID-19 pandemic means that no fans would be allowed on site.
“I personally don’t want to play if there’s no fans,” said Koepka. “I don’t see a point in playing it.
“I get representing your country is an honuor and it’s something that’s so much fun but, at the same time, the fans make that event. That’s what we get nervous on the first tee. You hear the chants. You hear everything that’s going on – the “U-S-A” chant, all that stuff. That’s what makes it fun.
“It’s like us going to play a match here at [Koepka’s home club] The Floridian Club. That’s essentially what it’s going to feel like.”
Koepka is by no means the only big name to be opposed to the idea of a “fan-free” Ryder Cup.
Last month, world No.1 Rory McIlroy dismissed the suggestion, saying: “If it came down to whether they had to choose between not playing the Ryder Cup or playing it without fans, I would say just delay it a year.”
The man currently sandwiched between McIlroy and Koepka on the Official World Golf Ranking, Jon Rahm, said something similar.
However, despite widespread opposition from some of the biggest names in the game, the possibility isn’t going away.
Just last week, European captain Padraig Harrington said the match may “have to take one for the team” and go ahead as scheduled. “The question is does sport need the Ryder Cup?” said the Irishman. “Would it be for the greater good of sport? It wouldn’t be in the Ryder Cup’s best interests, but it could be in the best interests of enough people who want to see a big sporting occasion on TV.”
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