Reigning Irish Open champion, Jon Rahm has reiterated his stance that a Ryder Cup shouldn’t go ahead behind closed doors this September.
Sure to play a key role for Padraig Harrington’s European side whenever they do face Steve Stricker’s USA team, the world number two was speaking ahead of Thursday’s PGA Tour return at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas.
“I’ve said it already, if the Ryder Cup doesn’t have spectators or limited spectators, they shouldn’t do it. There’s no point,” said Rahm to Sky Sports.
“It’s the ultimate entertainment. It’s the one week where we don’t play for ourselves, we’re playing for Europe, they’re playing for the US and we’re all playing for the fans, and the fans make the event what it is.
“If there can’t be spectators or you can’t have the Ryder Cup as a normal Ryder Cup, I don’t think they should do it; postpone it a year and do it right.”
This week will see players get their first real taste of golf in the new normal with no spectators and limited media on site in Fort Worth. However, Rahm accepts that golf must adapt in order to continue and has no issue with the regular season, including the Majors, going ahead behind closed doors.
“With the majors, as long as they can ensure the safety of the players, I believe we could play, and there’s no real reason why not unless you don’t want to play in front of fans. They can still watch it from home,” said Rahm.
“A US Open will still be a US Open, a PGA will still be a PGA, and the Masters will still be the Masters. But I also would understand if they don’t want to do it without fans.
“I see both sides, but I think the only event that definitely shouldn’t be played without fans or with limited fans is the Ryder Cup.”
Rahm will play alongside world number one Rory McIlroy and number three Brooks Koepka for the first two rounds at Colonial Country Club and he admits he’s not surprised that the Tour are pulling out all the stops to attract viewers back to golf.
“I’m not surprised I must say,” said Rahm. “I figured they were going to entice the viewers with a couple of really, really good groups, and when we played at The Players, me and Rory were coming in in really good form.
“Brooks maybe wasn’t playing his best golf, but Brooks has the ability to come through in the biggest events. We were looking forward to a couple of fun days, especially Friday, and we kind of got, obviously, for really bad reasons, stripped of that opportunity. So I’m glad to be experiencing this again.
“No crowd, like we probably would have had in this group, but still fun to play with the best players in the world, see what everybody has been up to and see how it goes.”
“It’s hard to say anymore who’s the best in the world after not competing for three months. It all depends on who’s prepared the best or who’s handled the situation the best or who even handles these new rules on the PGA Tour the best.
“It’s just a ranking. It’s a continuously moving thing, and since we’ve been stopped, I don’t think those numbers matter a lot anymore. I think we only can come back and prove that we deserve that spot.”