Daily Express

No point in a Ryder Cup without fans


- By Neil McLeman

BROOKS KOEPKA has joined the opposition to staging the Ryder Cup behind closed doors in September.

“I don’t want to play if there’s no fans,” said the world No3. “I don’t see a point in playing it.”

The chances of staging the biennial matches in Wisconsin received another blow yesterday when the PGA Tour confirmed that European-based stars would have to undergo two weeks of quarantine before playing in the US next month.

World No1 Rory McIlroy has spoken out against playing the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits without a crowd. And now big-hitting American Koepka, who should have been defending his USPGA Championsh­ip title this week, has echoed his thoughts.

“I get that representi­ng your country is an honour and it’s something that’s so much fun, but at the same time the fans make that event,” said the fourtime Major winner.

“That’s why we get nervous on the first tee. You hear the chants. You hear everything that’s going on – the U-S-A cries, all that stuff. That’s what makes it fun.” The PGA Tour has issued a 37-page document outlining strict rules for when play is due to restart behind closed doors in the Charles Schwab Challenge at Fort Worth in Texas on June 11.

As well as regular testing, non-US-based players will face a 14-day quarantine period upon entry to the country, and then potentiall­y the same when returning to the UK.

Tommy Fleetwood, who returned to the fairways at Sandiway Golf Club in Northwich yesterday, is reluctant to leave his family for such a long time but Matt Fitzpatric­k is planning to fly over.

PGA Tour official Andy Levinson said: “We are working with the Federal Government to facilitate the return of players and caddies who are currently residing outside the US.”

Profession­al golf will resume behind closed doors in South Korea today with the KLPGA Championsh­ip.

World No3 Park Sung-Hyun said: “I am pleased and also proud of the fact that South Korea is leading the way for the resumption of sports.”

 ?? Picture: DAVE WINTER ?? TEEING OFF... Koepka says the matches will not be any fun without the crowd interactio­n
Picture: DAVE WINTER TEEING OFF... Koepka says the matches will not be any fun without the crowd interactio­n

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