The worst-kept secret in golf is now official: there will be NO Ryder Cup in 2020.
Organisers have today confirmed that the 43rd edition of the match, originally scheduled for September 22-27, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, has been rescheduled for September 21-26, 2021.
Likewise, the Presidents Cup, initially slated for September 30 TO October 3, 2021, at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, will now be played September 19-25, 2022.
The decision to reschedule the Ryder Cup was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in conjunction with the state of Wisconsin and Sheboygan County, with the health and well-being of all involved as the top priority.
“Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.
“It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible.
"Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call. We are grateful to PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners at the TOUR for their flexibility and generosity in the complex task of shifting the global golf calendar.
“As disappointing as this is, our mandate to do all we can to safeguard public health is what matters most. The spectators who support both the U.S. and European sides are what make the Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option.
"We stand united with our partners from Ryder Cup Europe, the NBC Sports Group, Sky and our other broadcast partners around the world. We look forward to delivering the Ryder Cup’s renowned pageantry, emotion and competitive drama to a global audience in 2021.”
Guy Kinnings, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director, said: “The Ryder Cup is rightly celebrated as one of the world’s greatest sporting occasions, made special and totally unique in our sport by the fervent atmosphere created by the passionate spectators of both sides.
“While that point is significant, it is not as important as the health of the spectators which, in these difficult times, is always the main consideration. We considered all options including playing with a limited attendance but all our stakeholders agreed this would dilute the magic of this great occasion.
“We therefore stand beside our partners at the PGA of America in the decision to postpone the Ryder Cup for a year and join with them in extending our thanks to the PGA TOUR for their willingness to move the dates of the Presidents Cup."
With the decision to play the 2020 Ryder Cup in September 2021, all subsequent Ryder Cups after Whistling Straits will also shift to odd years: 2023/Marco Simone Golf and Country Club (Rome, Italy); 2025/Bethpage Black (Farmingdale, New York); 2027/Adare Manor (County Limerick, Ireland); 2029/Hazeltine National Golf Club (Chaska, Minnesota); 2031/Europe (to be determined); 2033/The Olympic Club (San Francisco); 2035/Europe (to be determined); 2037/Congressional Country Club (Bethesda, Maryland).
"While it is disappointing that the Ryder Cup won't be played this year, the decision to reschedule is the right thing to do under the circumstances," said US captain Steve Stricker. "At the end of the day, we want to stage a Ryder Cup that will rival all other Ryder Cups in my home state of Wisconsin, and now we have the opportunity to showcase the event as it was meant to be seen."
Padraig Harrington, captain of the European Ryder Cup team, added: “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.
“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.”
For Ryder Cup qualifying, both the United States and European teams will revisit their respective selection processes in the near future.