Ryder Cup should go ahead on time, says Europe's Harrington

London (AFP) –


Europe captain Padraig Harrington says it would be better to stage the Ryder Cup on schedule this September with a shortened qualification period than postpone the biennial showpiece.

The coronavirus pandemic has already forced the postponement of the first two majors of the year, the Masters and the US PGA Championship.

Paul Casey, a member of the winning Europe team in France in 2018, has called for the tournament to be put back 12 months.

Three-time major winner Harrington is set to skipper Europe at Whistling Straits in the United States and would rather the event took place this year, even if it means changing the qualification criteria.

"We're playing on, if at all possible, because the merit of getting out there and showcasing our sport far outweighs a perfect qualifying system," the Irishman told the Daily Mail.

"It wouldn't worry me if we were the first tournament back and I had to go with 12 picks with no qualifying.

"In many ways it would be perfect if the Ryder Cup was the first tournament back. Just 12 guys from Europe and 12 guys from America, with no prize money at stake and competing just for the glory.

"Wouldn't that be a nice way for the sport to start back?"

The Ryder Cup is scheduled to take place at Whistling Straits on the shores of Lake Michigan from September 25 to 27.

The event was postponed by 12 months in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.