Ryder Cup ‘Postponed’ Until 2021
The Ryder Cup, pitting the U.S. against Europe is a certain sort of fun, a different sort. Each time the two teams get together on either European or American soil, golfers and their fans get to let their inner hockey player out before returning to the pristine order of things on the respective tours. From the western point of view, the Professional Golf Association turns into the “Well Oh Yeah?” Tour.
The reasons are understandable. With the virus still raging in the U.S., the logistics of putting golfers, media and fans in the same vicinity required a mathematical feat that Americans could never pull off. Most of the population under the age of 55 has gone insane already, deciding that the experts don’t know anything after all, and as Americans, ready to do whatever they want to do.
I doubt there is a ghost of a chance that anyone could get an American golf mob to refrain from screaming, to wear a mask, and to remain at least six feet apart. The PGA has experimented with various ideas for the best way to do it, including a reduced body of fans, perhaps 10,000. Considering the overt personality that the Ryder Cup elicits in European and American fans, it’s not going to make one bit of difference. No one is going to act the way they would at church while inter-continental blood is boiling over and putts are hanging on the lip.
Even Sergio Garcia, master of the temper tantrum, was utterly rational about the prospect of holding the match tournament with or without fans. Take away the fans, and there’s no use holding the event at all. Ryder Cup week is the most over the top week of the year, and won’t lend itself to silence or tea party applause. With fans? Well, I refer you to the under 55 crowd, masks, and distancing. Not a chance. The decision, disappointing as it must be for the players and fans from both hemispheres, postponing the event is a good idea.
However, despite the calendar change being hyped as a “postponement,’ it isn’t by any stretch. Make no mistake, the Ryder Cup of 2020 has been cancelled, and will be attempted again in September of 2021. As for the course, Whistling Straits along the shores of Lake Michigan, i don’t know if they will play it there. Weather can be a fickle thing on Lake Michigan, and sweaters might already be advised by September.
Just by looking at photos of the course, a chill descends for most us at the thought of negotiating such trouble. When Padraig Harrington remarked that Whistling Straits would not give the Americans a home field advantage, I thought he was just waging subtle psychological warfare. After looking through the course, I believe he’s right. In some photos, it appears as though the people tasked with building the greens and tees did their work, but the fairway person forgot to show up, not to mention the water.
The cancellation, which is what it really is, is going to have a good or bad effect on the event when the Ryder Cup finally takes place, depending on how you view good or bad. Hopefully, coronavirus will have receded to the point where everyone can come out of their rabbit holes. Regardless, European golfers who enjoy nothing more than throwing American minds into a tailspin will arrive with extra venom in their bags. Americans, on the other hand, will be backed up by a mob that has been forced to stay indoors for month after month because people just couldn’t stand not being at the beach – what my father called the “I, I, Me, Me, Gimme, Gimme” folks.
I, for one, am concerned over a Sergio Garcia who has been forced to wait two years. With that much pent-up energy, he might give us the best show of his life so far.