Former USA Ryder Cup captain and now a 2020 vice-captain, Jim Furyk has put another perspective on the ongoing debate as to whether or not the 2020 Ryder Cup should go ahead later this year or whether it should be postponed 12 months.
One of the foremost questions right now is if the Ryder Cup is given the green light should spectators be allowed to attend Whistling Straits and line the shores of the Lake Michigan course?
Furyk, whose USA team was convincingly beaten in late 2018 at Versailles in France, was asked his thoughts on the debate ahead of this week’s RBC Heritage.
“I think it’s a dynamic question, and there’s a lot of parts to that question,” he said.
“I’ll start with what you’ve heard a lot of folks say, you know, it raises an eyebrow. It’s strange to play a PGA Tour event without fans. It would be really strange I mean, just exponentially at a Ryder Cup. That atmosphere, the one side getting cheered for, the other side not at all, that’s kind of what makes that event. That’s what we love as players about that event.
“You get to represent your country, and you feel like you’re in you know, it’s like going to an American football game, right? Ninety nine percent of the fans there are rooting for one team, and you have that home field advantage.
“So to miss that would be awkward.
“I think in order to make a really educated answer on your question, I’d kind of need to know a little bit more about what our options are. Is the option no fans at all?
“Are the options a limited number of fans, like we’re going to see, I think, on the PGA Tour to start? Or what’s the option if we don’t play? What happens? What’re the financial ramifications to the PGA of America if we’re able to play under any of those conditions or if we’re not able to play at all?
“I think one of the things you have to realise we all have to realise, the PGA of America represents 28,000 golf professionals around the country, and that event is their pride and joy. That is the event that basically financially allows the golf professionals in our country to do a lot of great work and to grow the game.
“I’m not privy even as a past captain, even as a vice captain this year, I’m not privy to understanding or knowing all the answers to those questions, but before I could, I would say it would be very awkward to play without fans, but we need to see a little bit about (it). I would need to know more about what it means to the organisations, to the PGA Tour, to the PGA of America, to the European Tour for that matter and European PGA.
“What’re the financial ramifications if we do or we don’t play?”