European Ryder Cup hero, Ian Poulter is adamant this year’s biennial event should go ahead at Whistling Straits, with or without fans.
Always one to feed off the emotion of the bipartisan crowd, the Englishman, known as the Postman in golf circles for his ability to always deliver a point for his side, insists hosting a Ryder Cup would be a good thing, even if the spectacle happens without its signature atmosphere.
“I’m not saying ‘postpone it’ if there’s no fans,” Poulter told Sky Sports News.
“I want to make that team and if I do, and we have to play it behind closed doors, I’m going to embrace it 100 percent. It will be good for TV. It won’t be good from a players’ standpoint, there won’t be as much fun because you won’t be able to feed off the energy of the fans.
“We would love to see a Ryder Cup with fans. We feed as a team, and we always have, off the fans. So, if you take them away it’s going to be an extremely different feeling.
“I’d love to see the world be in a better place by September and for one of these amazing companies to find a vaccine which would turn this thing on its head very, very quickly. It’s not looking likely, but miracles do happen.”
If such a thing were to happen, the qualifying criteria remains a major question mark over this year’s tournament. As it stands, nine players qualify through the various points tables and Captain Padraig Harrington holds three picks to complete the 12. However, it’s Poulter’s view that three picks simply won’t be enough should the tournament for ahead as planned in September.
“There would have to be more picks,” he said.
“People haven’t had the opportunity to play since February and some guys might not have the opportunity to play much golf before August. It’s up to the European Tour and it’s up to Paddy to decide what is the best way to be fair to everyone.
“There are going to be guys that have weathered this storm well, and there’ll probably be some guys who haven’t weathered the storm well.
“A load of guys in the UK I know haven’t been playing golf at all and they’ve just been practicing in a net in the back garden. It’s not going to be easy to make that selection whether it’s 12 picks, six picks, four picks, however they go about it.”