The 2020 Ryder Cup has been postponed for a year because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The event between the United States and Europe was due to be held at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin on 25-27 September.
But it has now been rescheduled for 24-26 September 2021.
Professional men’s golf in the US has resumed behind closed doors butplayers say the biennial event should not go ahead without fans.
“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,” said PGA of America chief executive Seth Waugh.
“Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call.
“The spectators who support both the US and European sides are what make The Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option.”
‘It is correct that we all wait’
The European Tour announced that the qualification process for Team Europe has been frozen until the beginning of 2022.
Europe skipper Padraig Harrington said rescheduling the tournament was the correct decision.
“When you think of the Ryder Cup you think of the distinctive atmosphere generated by the spectators, such as around the first tee at Le Golf National two years ago,” said the 48-year-old Irish three-time major winner.
“If that cannot be responsibly recreated at Whistling Straits in September, then it is correct that we all wait until it can be.”
Counterpart Steve Stricker, 53, echoed his sentiments, and added: “At the end of the day, we want to stage a Ryder Cup that will rival all other Ryder Cups in my home state of Wisconsin.”
In 2018 Europe regained the trophy with a 17½-10½ win over USA in the 42nd edition of the competition.
Meanwhile, there has been a knock-on effect from the rescheduling with next September’s Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow also now postponed for a year.
The Wells Fargo Championship will be played at its traditional venue at Quail Hollow in 2021 and at TPC Potomac in 2022, during Presidents Cup year.
Three majors remain
The PGA Tour in the US has played four events behind closed doors following the shutdown enforced by coronavirus, despite a handful of positive tests, while the European Tour will resume on 22 July with the first of six successive UK events.
The number of daily coronavirus cases is rising again in the US withfears it could reach 100,000 per day.
Only three of the four annual men’s majors are scheduled to take place in 2020 – all of them in the United States – after the Open Championship, due to be played from 15-18 July at Royal St George’s in Kent, was cancelled.
The rearranged USPGA Championship is now set to be the first major of the year but that will be held behind closed doors in San Francisco from 6-9 August.
The US Open is to be played at Winged Foot in New York State from 17-20 September, with the Masters following from 12-15 November at Augusta National.