Golf: Ryder Cup says golf showdown remains set for September

A 2019 photo shows US captain Steve Stricker (left) and European captain Padraig Harrington posing with the Ryder Cup. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A 2020 Ryder Cup spokesman says the US-Europe golf showdown remains scheduled for September in the wake of a British report saying the event would be postponed to 2021.

The Guardian newspaper report said that confirmation of a postponement is expected next week for the biennial showdown, now set for Whistling Straits in Wisconsin on Sept 25-27.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made it unlikely that spectators would be allowed at the event in its current date and travel restrictions due to the deadly disease could be an issue for fans traveling from Europe even if a reduced number were allowed.

The report said the Ryder Cup would remain in odd-numbered years after the jump to 2021, which would push the next European-based Ryder Cup in Italy to 2023.

An event spokesman told Milwaukee radio station WTMJ: "The 2020 Ryder Cup remains as scheduled, Sept 22-27, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

"The PGA of America continues to closely follow the guidance of federal, state, and local public health authorities. The safety and well-being of all is our highest priority."

The Golf Channel and Golfworld both reported that the PGA of America had no comment on the report.

World number one Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and fellow four-time major champion Brooks Koepka of the United States have both said they would not want to see the matches played without spectators, whose cheers and songs add much of the atmosphere that makes the team event special among competitions.

US captain Steve Stricker and Europe captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland have agreed they don't want to see a Ryder Cup without spectators.

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