Tommy Fleetwood has joined calls for the Ryder Cup to be postponed by a year due to the current pandemic (USA 8/11, Europe 6/4, tie 10/1 – Outright Betting).
As it stands, the biennial contest is due to be played in the USA at Whistling Straits from September 25-27, but it seems highly likely organisers will take the decision to delay it by 12 months.
England’s Paul Casey, a four-time participant and part of Europe’s winning team at Le Golf National two years ago, has already voiced his opinion that the event should not take place in 2020 (USA 8/11, Europe 11/10 – To Lift The Cup).
Compatriot Fleetwood agrees, feeling it would be better for all concerned to scrap this year’s tussle and start again in 2021.
“It would be a shame and feel weird to have to wait for so long after the last Ryder Cup, but you just have to take whatever comes,” he told the Times. “And it would be fairer in qualification terms for it to be pushed back.”
The qualification period began in September 2019, with the start of the new European Tour season, and is due to conclude on September 13, but with so many tournaments being lost to the coronavirus outbreak, there will not be many events left in which to score points when the action returns.
Fleetwood currently tops the European points list, with Spain’s Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Frenchman Victor Perez the other stars who would qualify automatically (McIlroy 6/1 – 2020 Masters Outright).
There will also be five from the world points list joining Padraig Harrington’s dozen and, as it stands, they would be English quartet Tyrrell Hatton, Danny Willett, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood plus Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
Harrington, a three-time major winner with six Ryder Cup appearances under his belt, will have three wildcards to pick and has a talented group to choose from.
Fleetwood, ranked 10th in the world and with two top-three finishes from five starts this season, hopes that the enforced period of inactivity means the players will be raring to go on the resumption.
“It’s not great in terms of practice and playing time, but it will be good for rest and recovery,” he added. “Hopefully this will never happen again, but we have to deal with it.”
Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed are the top three Americans at present, while Tiger Woods would sneak in at number eight on the list, with Steve Stricker having four captain’s picks at his disposal (Johnson 12/1 – US Open Outright).