Padraig Harrington texted me on Wednesday to confirm what we’d all suspected would happen – that the Ryder Cup was postponed.
I just texted back that it was another year of work for him to try and pick the team!
I’m sure it was as disappointing for Padraig as it was for all of us, as he’s been building up to a September 2020 Ryder Cup since he was appointed captain of the European team.
He, like the rest of us, has another year to wait now.
It wasn’t a surprise, but I was still a little disappointed to hear the news because I was really hoping I would make the team and get to experience my first Ryder Cup as a player.
But golf was not the most important factor in this decision – people’s health was.
The Ryder Cup is all about the fans. I’ve never played in one but was at the K Club as a spectator in 2006. It was amazing. When you see it on television it’s clear how much rival, partisan fans, make it the occasion it is.
The grandstands on the first tee are packed and that energy transmits to the players. It’s what makes the Ryder Cup the spectacle it is in the sporting calendar – not just the golf calendar.
The Ryder Cup just couldn’t happen behind closed doors, it just wouldn’t be the same.
A lot of the other players I spoke to a few weeks ago felt the same.
I don’t feel any more or less pressure to qualify now for next year but obviously that will change as we get closer to September 2021. I not only want to make the European Ryder Cup team but to be part of a winning European team on US soil at Whistling Straits next September.
Padraig had originally called me two weeks ago to say the decision process was ongoing.
There were rumblings about how the qualifying system could have been tweaked as the curtailed season really ate into the tournaments and the Ryder Cup points on offer. At least we’ve played some golf in the States, but Europe is only starting back today with the Austrian Open.
Team USA had toyed with the idea of six picks and then six qualifiers and that may have worked for them, but it would have been trickier for the European side as some of us are playing over here in the States, but some are not.
There was also talk of both sides just picking 12 players, but someone was always going to miss out that way. A postponement in the circumstances just seemed like the right option on a number of levels.
I’m in Dublin, Ohio at the moment getting ready for the Workday Charity Open that tees off today and didn’t really speak to any of the other players about the announcement during practice, as we’re staying well apart on the course before tee-off.
A lot were were resigned to the fact it wasn’t going to happen this year and the official statement just confirmed that and ended the speculation. I don’t think it will be a big talking point anymore now as we’ll all just concentrate on getting ready for next year.
What’s for sure though is that when the Ryder Cup does swing around next September, it will be fantastic.
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