Earlier this week, we heard the news that the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in September could potentially be played without spectators, due to the ongoing fight against the coronavirus, which caused a mass debate online.
Seth Waugh, chief executive of the PGA of America, said that discussions have been made with the European Tour about the feasibility of going ahead with the Ryder Cup if fans are banned from spectating the biennial match.
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No one wants to see Europe defend the Ryder Cup in America without any spectators, but what would it mean for the teams? Who would benefit from that situation?
Some golf fans posted on Twitter that if spectators were banned from the Ryder Cup then Europe would gain an advantage as the away side, but I'm here to tell you that a Ryder Cup without fans would be a complete disaster for team Europe.
Of course the Americans would outnumber the European fans, but in my opinion this isn’t like a football match where the home team gets an advantage because of the crowd.
The players need to feed off of the atmosphere that the fans are creating, no matter which team they’re cheering for.
There is no better feeling than silencing a mass crowd who would love nothing more than to see you crumble under the pressure, you’ve just got to look at Patrick Reed as a prime example, when he sunk his putt at Gleneagles in 2014 and shhhd the European fans.
Say what you like about Reed, but the man is a fantastic match-play golfer and knows exactly how to use negative energy to his advantage, something the European players could emulate in Wisconsin.
Let’s be honest, as things stand, Steve Stricker’s American side is miles ahead of Padraig Harrington’s European team in terms of quality and playing at Whistling Straits only makes Europe’s task even tougher.
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Playing with the fans there in America is not only a positive for Europe, but it could be seen as a negative for the USA. Europe have won seven of the last 10 Ryder Cups, which puts a demand on the Americans to win on home soil in front of a home crowd, that’s a lot of pressure to handle when the stakes are high.
The American fans will be expecting a victory in September. These players aren’t playing for themselves like they do every week, so if they don’t turn up then they’re not only letting themselves down, but the rest of the team and the thousands of fans in attendance.
Without their home fans cheering them on, it takes all that pressure out of the equation and that’s when you would see the quality of the American players shine through.
Yes it’s true what the players and captains have been saying - “there is no Ryder Cup without fans” - but in my opinion it’s deeper than that, there’s no victory for Europe without fans.