PGA of America confident Ryder Cup will be a full attendance experience

Fatiha Betscher
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Graeme McDowell reacts after victory against Jordan Spieth of the United States on the 17th hole during the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The initial 2020 Ryder Cup has been a sell-out long before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and now with many parts of the world getting back to normal, the PGA of America, organisers of the Ryder Cup when played in the U.S., is confident this year’s rescheduled Ryder Cup will be a ‘full attendance experience’ come September.

The now 2021 Ryder Cup is set to take place from 24th to 26th September at Whistling Straits located along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. As we know, the 43rd Ryder Cup was set to take place last September but once there was suggestions it may be played without spectators, those set to qualify became vocal, including the likes of Rory McIlroy, declaring the Ryder Cup could not go ahead without fans.

Along with the continuing uncertainty around this time last year of the pandemic led the PGA of America to put back the hosting of the Ryder Cup by 12 months to later this year with the PGA of America’s Head of Championships, Kerry Haigh speaking to the situation with regards to spectators ahead of this week’s 103rd PGA Championship.

“Ticket sales, we were sold out as of a year ago, which was great news,” said Haigh. “Obviously then we postponed it and we offered all ticket holders and corporate purchases the opportunity to either stay in or not for 2021, for the playing of it in 2021.

“So the vast majority of the ticket holders and the corporates remained in and ready to go with the PGA Championship. We are working with the county and the state of Wisconsin and have submitted our COVID protocol plan, which as Seth mentioned continues to change and evolve every day.

“We’re hopeful that by September we will be able to have full attendance. If it were today we could not based on where COVID numbers are, but certainly with the vaccine and the numbers coming down, we are very hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to have a full attendance.

“We’re working obviously with the state and local governments to have all those conversations. It’ll be fluid. But our plan is to have a Ryder Cup in a way to have it be the greatest Ryder Cup in history. I think the world as we’ve seen is ready to have a party.

“The Olympics is going to happen it looks like, but not in the way that you would hope it would. And so this is really going to be the first time to cheer for your country, to have that sort of tribal — in-person anyway — to have that sort of tribal atmosphere that is so important.

“So, we’re hopeful that September will be one of the great events in golf and a great sort of exclamation point to the end of this thing. We think it’s all going to happen fast from here, certainly from a U.S. perspective. I realise the world still has a lot of challenges out there, but from a U.S. perspective we’re really hopeful we’ll be able to pull it off.”

That’s great news for all those golf fans lucky enough to have an entry ticket into Whistling Straits.

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