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Padraig Harrington expects Ryder Cup to go ahead as planned amid coronavirus chaos

The year's first two majors, the US Masters and the US PGA Championship, have been postponed due to the outbreak

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington is expecting the September tournament to go ahead. PA
European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington is expecting the September tournament to go ahead. PA

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has said he is confident the biennial tournament will go ahead as scheduled in September, despite the global sports calender being thrown into chaos by the coronavirus pandemic.

The year's first two majors, the US Masters and the US PGA Championship, have been postponed due to the outbreak, while six European Tour events have been called off and the PGA Tour has cancelled all tournaments until late May.

However, Harrington believes the 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup, contested between Europe and the United States, will take place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 25-27.

"September is a long way off so there's no change to the situation at all at this stage," the three-time major winner told The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM.

"I know there's been some rumours and they had to put out a statement to say there's been no change, but there's definitely no change.

"I'm on the inside of these things. Normally you're looking at 'anonymous source says this...' but now that I'm on the inside you go 'wow, it really is made-up stuff'.

"There was a big announcement [on Tuesday] by the PGA Tour about events being cancelled until May and now the PGA Championship has been postponed as well, so that's as far as they've gotten - until the middle of the May is where they've taken steps to."

Ryder Cup Europe took to social media on Monday evening to describe reports suggesting the Ryder Cup is expected to be postponed were "inaccurate".

It is understood that the European Tour will hold a board meeting next week with a Ryder Cup steering committee meeting a week later.

Organisers of the Masters and US PGA Championship hope to stage their events later this year, with a surge in hotel prices hinting at a date of October 8-11 for the Masters.

On Tuesday, LPGA Tour player Marina Alex took to Twitter to complain about a room reservation she had for October in Augusta being cancelled by the hotel.

The October date would clash with the European Tour's Italian Open and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the PGA Tour. It is also just a fortnight after the Ryder Cup, as things stand.

Updated: March 18, 2020 04:35 PM

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