Picture: 123RF/DEKLOFENAK
Picture: 123RF/DEKLOFENAK

London — The Ryder Cup should follow the lead of the Olympics and Euro 2020 in postponing this year’s edition to 2021, says one of the stars of the 2018 European win, Tommy Fleetwood.

The 29-year-old Englishman told The Times on Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic will make qualifying for the biennial contest between the US and Europe unfair.

The Ryder Cup is slated for September 25-28 in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin. Qualifying for the event lasts from September 19 2019 to September 13 2020 but already two of the four Majors — The Masters and the PGA — have been postponed.

“It would be a shame and feel weird to have to wait for so long after the last Ryder Cup, but you just have to take whatever comes,” said Fleetwood. “And it would be fairer in qualification terms for it to be pushed back.”

Fleetwood should have no problem qualifying as he tops the European points list. He formed a devastating partnership with Italian Francesco Molinari at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France, winning all four of their matches.

Fleetwood says the players have to be prepared for any eventuality.

“The main thing is to be ready, both physically and mentally,” he said. “My psychologist said: ‘You will never get this period back’. It’s not great in terms of practice and playing time, but it will be good for rest and recovery.

“Hopefully this will never happen again but we have to deal with it,” added Fleetwood who has a putting green and a simulator in his house but cannot use the garden to practice as it is a “sandpit” due to work being carried out on it.

He says he has told his father and father-in-law to stay indoors which they have accepted “through gritted teeth and in a grumpy way”.

The British government ordered on Monday the nationwide shutdown of non-essential shops and services and people to stay at home. By Tuesday evening, there were 422 deaths and 8,077 cases in Britain.

He has other concerns too as the people most at risk are those with underlying health issues — his mother, Sue, has Crohn’s disease and his stepson, Oscar, 13, has type 1 diabetes. However, Fleetwood sees a positive side emanating from the pandemic.

“One thing that has been amazing from all this is how people’s attitudes change in a crisis,” he said. “I’ve seen so many positive messages that people are sending. It’s a shame that it can’t be like that all the time.” 

AFP

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