Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 2 July 2020

Rory McIlroy expects Ryder Cup to be cancelled over coronavirus pandemic

The biennial tournament is currently scheduled to be played from September 25

Rory McIlroy, golf's world No 1, is expecting this year's Ryder Cup to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The biennial tournament, which pits the best golfers from the United States against those from Europe, is currently scheduled for September 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, where Europe will be looking to retain the trophy won in 2018.

A host of major 2020 sporting events have been cancelled because of coronavirus, including golf's British Open, while the US Masters and US PGA Championship have been postponed, and McIlroy thinks the Ryder Cup will suffer the same fate.

"My personal hunch is that I don't see how it is going to happen, so I do not think that it will happen," McIlroy told BBC Sport NI.

"I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of crowds and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special.

"The players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup. If they are not on board with it and don't want to play then there is no Ryder Cup.

"I see it being pushed back until 2021 and, honestly, I think that will be the right call."

The PGA Tour is set to resume on June 11, with McIlroy confirming he will play the first three dates.

The 31-year-old Northern Irishman also said he would have no problem with returning to the European Tour later in the year.

"It's a tough one. There are a lot of things up in the air, but if there are some big events in autumn time, then I can," McIlroy said.

"Maybe if Wentworth gets moved to October, which they are thinking of, then I could see myself going over and playing that event.

"I was just as disappointed as everyone else that the Open got cancelled this year. I think it would have been a good date in September if we were able to play it.

"I wouldn't have concerns about travelling to Europe. I think if you stick to the guidelines then I don't see any reason why we should feel scared to travel."

Updated: May 26, 2020 03:30 PM

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