Two major golf tournaments jointly announced plans to reschedule on Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic surges in the U.S., with states around the country facing rising numbers of new cases.
The PGA Tour, Ryder Cup Europe and PGA America said in a press release that the Ryder Cup, originally scheduled for this fall, would be pushed back to Sept. 21-26, 2021, while the Presidents Cup, originally set to be held in late September of next year, would be pushed back to 2022.
The two tournaments were set to be held in Wisconsin and North Carolina, respectively. PGA and Ryder officials said in the release that the decision was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which comes as both states are seeing their rates of new infections increase.
“Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “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."
“As disappointing as this is, our mandate to do all we can to safeguard public health is what matters most. The spectators who support both the U.S. and European sides are what make the Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option," Waugh added.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan added in the press release that the decision to reschedule the Presidents Cup was made to accommodate the Ryder Cup, and allow the safest decision to be made.
"With the uncertainty of the current climate, we fully support the Ryder Cup’s decision to delay a year in order to ensure fans could be a part of the incredible atmosphere in Wisconsin, and the delay of this year’s Presidents Cup was the right decision in order to allow for that option," he said.
Numerous sports leagues have been forced to delay or suspend seasons due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The NBA and MLB both plan to resume play on adjusted seasons later this month.