Ryder Cup postponement moves Adare Manor into the limelight
Co Limerick course will hold centenary event after confirmation 2020 moves to 2021
Adare Manor will now hold the centenary Ryder Cup event in 2027. Photograph: Murray Consultants
What’s another year? In fact, the postponement of September’s Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits until 2021, and the domino effect of pushing future matches on by a year, has resulted in a positive for Adare Manor in that its new date of 2027 provides perfect symmetry with the origins of the match. It means the Co Limerick resort will play host to the Ryder Cup’s centenary.
Adopting the glass-half full approach, it means the JP McManus-owned course will secure a unique place in the Ryder Cup’s history. As Guy Kinnings, the European Tour’s Ryder Cup director, put it: “I think the opportunity of it becoming the centenary, which none of us had envisaged, will allow us to build on that heritage which the island of Ireland has embraced. We saw it with the Open Championship last year and what we are building now towards 2027.”
This postponement was long anticipated, even if the PGA of America clung on to the hope that it could possibly proceed with a limited spectator presence of 10,000 daily rather than 40,000.
However, the health and safety concerns surrounding coronavirus - which has led to the PGA Tour and the European Tour resuming with no fans on site and no prospect of any change in that stance any time soon - was such that a postponement for a year was inevitable.
“It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible. Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call,” said Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America.
Pádraig Harrington, the third Irishman to captain Europe in the last four matches, admitted rescheduling the match “was never going to be an easy decision . . . but I believe it is the right assessment given the unprecedented circumstances we are facing at this time.” Harrington will still have three captain’s picks, while the PGA of America - which had decided to give the USA captain Steve Stricker six selections - is to review its position.
Justin Rose, the Olympic champion from Rio in 2016, will now defend his title at Tokyo next year in what will be a packed golfing calendar that will also feature the Solheim Cup, the women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup.
For Rose, the call to postpone might have taken “a while” to make, but it was the correct one. “The fans do make that tournament. I wasn’t against playing without fans based on the fact that I still think there could have been a lot of intensity between the players, but the Ryder Cup is about the crowd,” said Rose.
Qualification for the European team has been frozen until January 1st, 2021. The qualifying process was originally paused after the Qatar Masters in March and this has been extended until the new year to ensure players in form will be rewarded, although all points earned from September 2019 to March 2020 will still count.
The postponement of the Ryder Cup in September has created a free week in the European Tour schedule, which could yet provide the opportunity for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mount Juliet to claim that date. It is not, however, a formality by any means that the Irish Open will fill the void given the US Open is scheduled for Winged Foot in New York the previous week and there is currently a 14-day quarantine for incoming travellers, which is due to be reviewed by the Irish government on July 20th.