Pádraig Harrington: Nobody wants Ryder Cup without fans

Talks have reportedly taken place about holding the event behind closed doors

A full crowd watching Team Europe’s Rory McIlroy tee off the first hole during the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

A full crowd watching Team Europe’s Rory McIlroy tee off the first hole during the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

 

Europe captain Padraig Harrington says he and USA counterpart Steve Stricker are not in favour of the Ryder Cup being played behind closed doors.

The biennial competition is, for the moment at least, scheduled to go ahead in September at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Talks have reportedly taken place over holding the competition behind closed doors, plans which are said to have faced opposition from players who believe the event relies on the atmosphere generated by spectators.

Harrington says there is a consensus that there is no need at this stage to make any decision on whether it is played with or without fans.

“In another two months we will know a lot more,” Harrington told BBC’s Today programme.

“There’s been some talk about playing it behind closed doors. The general feeling is that nobody wants to play behind closed doors, it wouldn’t be a normal Ryder Cup.

“But nobody feels they need to make that decision at the moment.

“For me and Steve (Stricker), neither of us would like a situation where the fans don’t turn up.”

The PGA Tour is set to resume in June with the first four events to be staged behind closed doors.

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