Thomas Bjorn weighs in on "no fans" at this year's Ryder Cup

Thomas Bjorn

The mastermind of Europe's most recent Ryder Cup victory has called for people to keep an open mind about the prospect of this year's match being played behind closed doors.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Thomas Bjorn stopped short of revealing his own opinions on whether staging the event without fans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic would be a good or bad thing - a wise decision given that he was appointed to the European Tour's board of directors just days ago. 

However, the Dane - who steered Europe to a 17.5-10-.5 win over the USA at Le Golf National in front of over 270,000 spectators just under two years ago - did offer some thoughts on the much-mooted prospect.

"I think any sporting event behind closed doors is difficult to imagine but it might be something that we have to live with," said Bjorn. "I can't say yes or no to a Ryder Cup behind closed doors. I have my own personal opinions on that but, obviously, with my board position, I know a little bit more about what goes on and it would be wrong of me to put too much [of a] statement out there.

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"But I do think that every organisation in the world has to look at the possibilities and I know that the European Tour and PGA of America are looking at the possibilities of [playing the Ryder Cup without spectators] like the Premier League are looking at playing football behind closed doors. 

"That is our world right now. We have to look those possibilities, if it can be done. Then you have to make the decision at the right time and they're not quite there yet with the Ryder Cup."

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Bjorn's successor as European captain, Padraig Harrington, appeared to pivot earlier this week on the prospect of no fans attending this year's at Whistling Straits this weekend.

Having initially been opposed to it, the Irishman said that it might be necessary for the match to "take one for the team" and go fan-free. 

However, multiple players have voiced their opposition to such a prospect, including world No.1 Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm.

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