KOHLER — The Ryder Cup has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus.
The biennial golf tournament was supposed to take place from September 25 to September 27 at Whistling Straits near Kohler, Wis. However, health concerns relating to the coronavirus pandemic have forced officials to delay the tournament until September 21-26, 2021.
Edgerton native Steve Stricker is the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
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Fans who purchased tickets at rydercup.com will automatically get tickets for the corresponding days in 2021. Those unable to attend in 2021, will be able to receive refunds. Further specifics will be available on the official website.
Fans who purchased packages on the secondary market need to work through that specific site.
The decision to push the Ryder Cup back was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in conjunction with the state of Wisconsin and Sheboygan County, the tournament officials said in a release.
“Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible."
“As disappointing as this is, our mandate to do all we can to safeguard public health is what matters most. The spectators who support both the U.S. and European sides are what make the Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option."
Several top players had stated publicly in recent weeks that they were not interested in holding the tournament if fans were not present.
"While it is disappointing that the Ryder Cup won't be played this year, the decision to reschedule is the right thing to do under the circumstances," said U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Steve Stricker. "At the end of the day, we want to stage a Ryder Cup that will rival all other Ryder Cups in my home state of Wisconsin, and now we have the opportunity to showcase the event as it was meant to be seen."
Pádraig Harrington, Captain of the European Ryder Cup Team, said: “When you think of the Ryder Cup, you think of the distinctive atmosphere generated by the spectators, such as around the first tee at Le Golf National two years ago. If that cannot be responsibly recreated at Whistling Straits in September, then it is correct that we all wait until it can be."
The decision also dramatically affects businesses in the Sheboygan County area and throughout the state, as well as preparations by law enforcement.
"It is unfortunate that the Ryder Cup had to postpone until next year but based on recommendations of public health due to COVID-19, postponing it is in the best interest of public safety at this time. We will continue to plan for next year's event," said Sheboygan County Sheriff Cory Roeseler.
For Ryder Cup qualifying, both the United States and European teams will revisit their respective selection processes in the near future.
In a corresponding decision, the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe also announced that the Junior Ryder Cup will be rescheduled for Sept. 20-21, 2021 at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in Wauwatosa. It was originally scheduled for Sept. 21-22, 2020.