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We'll be set for deferred Ryder: Pádraig

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European Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington

European Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington

PA

European Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington

European captain Pádraig Harrington believes postponing the Ryder Cup for a year is the correct decision.

The biennial match between the United States and Europe was scheduled to take place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 25, but organisers have decided they did not want to stage the event without fans in the current coronavirus climate.

It means the competition will now take place between September 24-26, 2021 and every two years thereafter, meaning Rome's turn to host will now come in 2023. Yesterday's decision also means that Adare Manor in Limerick will now host the tournament in 2027 - the centenary year of the competition.

"Rescheduling the Ryder Cup was never going to be an easy decision given the many factors to take into consideration but I believe it is the right assessment given the unprecedented circumstances we are facing at this time," said Harrington.

"When you think of the Ryder Cup you think of the distinctive atmosphere generated by the spectators, such as around the first tee at Le Golf National two years ago.

"If that cannot be responsibly recreated at Whistling Straits in September, then it is correct that we all wait until it can be. I know, right now, that September 2021 feels a long time away but it will come around quickly and I guarantee that the European players and I will be ready when it does."

PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh stressed public safety was paramount. "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," he said.

"The spectators are what make the Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option."

Guy Kinnings, Europe's Ryder Cup director, added: "The Ryder Cup is rightly celebrated as one of the world's greatest sporting occasions, made special and totally unique in our sport by the fervent atmosphere created by the passionate spectators of both sides.

"While that point is significant, it is not as important as the health of the spectators which, in these difficult times, is always the main consideration."

The Ryder Cup's move to September 24-26, 2021 means the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club, North Carolina, will now be played the following September.

The European Tour has confirmed that the qualification process for Team Europe for the 43rd Ryder Cup has been frozen until the beginning of the new year, with all points earned to date on both the European and World Points lists continuing to count.

Officials are looking into the potential for 'points multipliers' to be introduced during the 2021 season to ensure the performances of in-form players are given the relevant importance.