With the golf season well and truly at a halt due to the continued spread of the coronavirus, rumours began to spread that this year's Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits was next on golf's hit-list, but Padraig Harrington believes the event will go ahead.
Three-time major champion Harrington is set to captain Team Europe for the very first time when his side take on Steve Stricker's United States team at the end of September.
Indoor swing drill(be nice to your neighbors and don’t do it at night).Filmed yesterday,I swear I washed and changed my clothes today.I lose height at the start of the downswing to create pressure down which then pushes left hip up and open @EuropeanTour @PGATOUR pic.twitter.com/CaknIrAxi7— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) March 18, 2020
The coronavirus has caused lockdowns in multiple countries and caused live sport to come to a sudden stop, with the PGA Tour confirming there will be no tournaments until May, which has included postponing the Masters and the PGA Championship.
Rumours began to spread that the Ryder Cup was next to be cancelled, but the Ryder Cup Europe Twitter sent a message out on Monday to describe reports of the biennial event being cancelled as "inaccurate," while Harrington is confident that the event will still go ahead.
“September is a long way off so there’s no change to the situation at all at this stage,” Harrington told The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM.
“I know there’s been some rumours and they had to put out a statement to say there’s been no change, but there’s definitely no change.
“I’m on the inside of these things. Normally you’re looking at ‘anonymous source says this…’ but now that I’m on the inside you go ‘wow, it really is made-up stuff’.
“There was a big announcement (on Tuesday) by the PGA Tour about events being cancelled until May and now the PGA Championship has been postponed as well, so that’s as far as they’ve gotten – until the middle of the May is where they’ve taken steps to.”
The Irishman also said that he would be open to playing the event behind spectators and behind closed doors, saying that it would give people something exciting to watch on TV.
“I’d be more considered – wouldn’t we love some sport to be going on now, if it was possible?
“I would go down the road if it was possible to play it from a health and safety point of view. Wouldn’t it be great to put something on television for people to watch to bring a bit of something else into the day?
“By the time we get to that sort of stage I’m sure there will be some sporting events where enough of the athletes are recovered and can compete behind closed doors.
“I’m not talking golf here, other sports, just to give us something to watch on TV.
“We all miss the Premiership, the rugby, golf or any other sport. It would be not essential but it would sure beat watching another boxset on Netflix wouldn’t it?
“I think it would be odd and strange, and I think some of the soccer matches, there was a bit of that about it, but it would be more about providing a service than the sport.
“You can see it happening in that situation where as I said players could be checked. By September there will be more ability to test people and more will have recovered.
“There are things by the time September comes round that we just cannot envisage right now and that’s why they haven’t cancelled it or are preparing to have it.
“There really are so many scenarios that can come into play before that crunch time.”