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More than 270,000 people attended the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National near Paris. 

However, European captain Padraig Harrington has said he would be open to playing this year’s contest at Whistling Straits in front of NOBODY if it means the match goes ahead as scheduled.

Yesterday, a report in The Telegraph suggested that September’s head-to-head between Harrington’s side and Steve Stricker’s Americans could be called off on account of the coronavirus epidemic – a claim quickly denied by the Twitter accounts of both teams.

Speaking to Off The Ball tonight, Harrington addressed the impact the disease has had on golf to date and said that he would be willing to consider all options in order for the Ryder Cup to go ahead in September. His only condition: player safety.

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“I’d be more thinking, wouldn’t we love some sport going on now,” said the three-time major champion. “Most people are stuck at home and would love something to watch on the TV.

“I would go down the road – if it was possible from a health and safety point of view – wouldn’t it be great to put something on the television that people could watch? Something to bring a bit of something else into the day.”

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Adding that it would be “strange” to play the match with no fans, Harrington added: “You could see it happening in that sort of situation where players could be checked – if we are at that stage in September.

• Augusta National closed until further notice

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“You wouldn’t want to take it away from the limited number of tests there are now […] but there are lots of different types of scenarios that we just cannot envisage right now.

“That is why they haven’t cancelled it and are preparing to have it – there really are so many scenarios that could come into play in that time.”

The 2020 Ryder Cup is scheduled to take place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 25-27.

A Ryder Cup with no fans – your thoughts?

What do you think of the prospect of the Ryder Cup taking place with nobody there to see it? Would you support that idea or would you rather it was postponed until such times as fans were able to attend? Leave your thoughts in our Comments section below.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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