Ryder Cup 2020: With Or Without Fans? It's The Great Debate | Dog Leg News

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Tom Edrington

Tom Edrington spent the first 10 years of his misguided youth as a sports writer for the Tampa Tribune. His career brought him face to face with many of sports greatest stars -- Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Muhammad Ali, Don Shula, countless Hall of Fame NFL stars, more PGA Tour players than he can count. In 1980 he was honored by the Golf Writers Association of America for writing the best news story that year, his coverage of Jack Nicklaus' U.S. Open victory at Baltusrol. Today, 36 years later, golf is still a great part of his life, thanks to competitive playing days and the wonderful people he has met on this fabulous journey.

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2 Comments

  1. 1

    baxter cepeda

    As I said a few days ago: just play the darn thing.

    Tom forgot to mention the most recent comment from a big name: Paul Mcginley said it would be “pompous” to say no fans, no event.

    The reigning winner as Ryder Cup captain mentioned how many sports will play huge events without fans. The Ryder Cup has become the most fan involved event In golf, but it still pales in comparison to the NBA finals, for example, where fans are literally allowed to distract players at the free throw line.

    There absolutely are reasons to play the Ryder Cup regardless of fans; and we will get to those.

    First scheduling the Ryder Cup the week after the US Open is downright idiotic. Considering some top players will jump ship from representing their country at the first sign of inconvenience quicker than Jane Roe, organizers should have seen this could be a problem. Personally I believe Tiger would be there exhausted or not, but some other names I worry about.

    Also, let us not pretend the integrity of the Ryder Cup depends on fans. Rowdy fans are a recent phenomenon of the event which has been around since 1927, most years with few fans and mostly polite applause.

    I don’t believe shushing and ‘I can’t hear ya! taunts we’re around even before Reed.

    Even the 1991 War by the Shore Had little to do with fans, and a whole lot to do with players competitiveness and gamesmanship.

    Imo that 91 Ryder Cup inspired the fans. If the players will act that way, why can’t we the fans?

    But give television fans a well mic’ed Seve and Zinger situation arguing and questioning each others characters, and fans will be the last thing on fans minds.

    Thousands of people pale in comparison to millions. Millions of People stuck at home need the entertainments more than ever. The typical golf grind does not provide casual sports fans the entertainment a Ryder Cup provides, fans or no fans. The Ryder Cup still has representing country, Mano a mano match play, and 24 of the best, going for itself.

    Logistically hosting 24 popular players as opposed to 15o mostly no names makes a lot more sense to play now.

    And then there’s the scheduling nightmares associated with pushing it back a year; something Rory May not be considering now.

    What do you do with the Ryder Cup, Olympics and Presidents Cup all in the same year? Plus the many other events waiting to return next year?

    While this is an argument about playing with no fans, as McGinley pointed out, there is a gray area to consider. There is a chance fans could still be allowed.

    Considering Texas just announced yesterday it will allow 25% capacity at outdoor sporting events, Certainly there’s a very good chance at least some fans will be allowed in Wisconsin when the time comes. Super fans and their families strategically positioned for safety and fan impact would go a long way. Big Screens can show more fans virtually if needed.

    There’s a whole bunch of things that can be done to make it a unique and very entertaining event. But like Rory said, if tired players do not want to play, you don’t have an event. He is right about that.

    But Paul McGinley, as we learned in France, is the one with the real wisdom here, saying: Just play Baby!

    Paul knows. Golf needs to take advantage of this time to sell itself. And fans or not, the best way to sell golf is the Ryder Cup.

    1. 1.1

      Tom Edrington

      I will stick with Rory and the guys on both sides, if the players aren’t up for it, neither am I!

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