The PGA of America announced Wednesday that the 43rd Ryder Cup, set for September at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., has been rescheduled for next year at the same venue because of the pandemic.
The association said the decision to postpone the biennial golf competition between the United States and Europe was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction with the state of Wisconsin and officials in Sheboygan County. The new dates are Sept. 24-26, 2021.
“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,” PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said. “Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call.”
The move of the Ryder Cup affected the PGA Tour’s Presidents Cup, which had been scheduled for next year at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, N.C., but now will be contested Sept. 23-25, 2022.
Discussions about the Ryder Cup had been ongoing in recent months with talk that the competition might be played this year as scheduled without fans. But that idea did not meet with the approval of many players, including Rory McIlroy.
“The players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup,” McIlroy told ESPN.com in May. “If they are not on board with it and don’t want to play, then there is no Ryder Cup. I see it being pushed back until 2021, and honestly I think that will be the right call.”
The move means that future Ryder Cups will be played in odd-numbered years, and Presidents Cups will shift to even-numbered years beginning in 2022.
“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,” U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker said.
The Presidents Cup matches top players from the United States and the rest of the world not including Europe. The 2022 competition will be its 14th staging.
“These two premier international team events are lifted by the spirit of the fans,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said. “With the uncertainty of the current climate, we fully support the Ryder Cup’s decision to delay a year … and the delay of this year’s Presidents Cup was the right decision in order to allow for that option.”
The pandemic has prompted a shuffling of golf’s major championships. The PGA Championship is scheduled for Aug. 6-9 at Harding Park in San Francisco but will be played without fans. The U.S. Open (Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.) and the Masters (Nov. 12-15 at Augusta National Golf Club) still hope to have spectators present.