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Rory McIlroy: No fans, no cup

Fan-tastic: McIlroy tees off in front of a packed gallery at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris PICTURE: PA

RORY McILROY does not believe the Ryder Cup will be played this year, with players unwilling to back the event if it is played without fans.

It is currently scheduled to be played on September 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, where Europe will be looking to retain the trophy.

But a host of major sporting events have already been cancelled because of coronavirus 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,’ said the world No.1.

‘The majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so 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 already confirming he will play the first three dates. The 31-year-old also said he would have no issues 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 (play in Europe),’ 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. If you stick to the guidelines, then I don’t see any reason why we should feel scared to travel.’