The Ryder Cup 2020 has been postponed until 2021.
ESPN reported that the 43rd Ryder Cup scheduled for September 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, will be delayed until a similar date in 2021.
As a result of the schedule change, the PGA Tour is expected to move the Presidents Cup, which was scheduled to be played in late September 2021 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Autumn of 2022. Italy's 2022 Ryder Cup will therefore shift to 2023.
The news comes as no surprise in a sports year when many events were cancelled or put on hold due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
British newspapers such as The Telegraph and The Guardian reported weeks ago that the Ryder Cup would be postponed, although the PGA has declined to comment so far.
With COVID-19 cases still soaring in the United States, it seems unlikely fans would be admitted to the event if the Ryder Cup remained on its regularly scheduled dates.
Even if a limited number were allowed, travel restrictions could still be a factor for fans wanting to come from Europe.
World number one Rory McIlroy and fellow four-time major champion Brooks Koepka have both said they would not want to see the matches played without spectators.
“I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of the atmosphere they want to play. I just can’t see it going ahead without fans,” McIlroy said back in May.
The last time the Ryder Cup was bumped a year was in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That Ryder Cup was to be played in September 2001 at The Belfry but was instead pushed back 12 months.
In that instance, the players and captains that had already been selected for 2001 were kept for 2002. However, at this point, it remains unknown how qualification will move forward for 2021.
The US PGA Tour has resumed play but has yet to admit spectators to tournaments. The European Tour won’t resume until July 22, with COVID-19 testing and social distancing in place and without spectators on the course.
The Ryder Cup however, isn’t the only COVID-19 casualty on the golf calendar this year with the Masters pushed from April to November, the PGA Championship switched from May to August, the US Open moved from June to September and the British Open cancelled until further notice.