Rory McIlroy has called for the Ryder Cup to be postponed by a year if the only way it can be played this year is without spectators.
The status of this year's match has been the subject of fierce speculation ever since the coronavirus pandemic brought professional golf to a near total global shutdown last month.
At present, it is still scheduled to go ahead as planned at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 24-27. However, it is believed that a number of contingencies are being prepared, including the feasibility of staging the match without spectators.
That, according to world No.1 McIlroy, would be a whole lot worse than postponement.
"A Ryder Cup without fans is not a Ryder Cup," he said during an Instagram Live with TaylorMade.
"It wouldn't be a great spectacle. There would be no atmosphere. If it came to whether they had to choose between not playing the event or playing it without fans, I would say just delay it a year and play it in 2021."
McIlroy added that he gets "the financial implications for everyone involved" but his conviction remains unmoved.
"I would much rather they delay it until 2021 than play it at Whistling Straits without fans. And that's from a European going to America, knowing that I'm going to get abuse!"
More than 270,000 fans from 90 different countries attended the 2018 match at Le Golf National in France, delivering an economic benefit of more than €235.7million to the country in the process.