Rory McIlroy: World number one believes Ryder Cup will be postponed until 2021

World number one McIlroy won't fear travelling to Europe

Rory McIlroy believes this year's Ryder Cup will be postponed until 2021.

The Northern Irishman is one of a number of players who previously called for the biennial event between Europe and the US not to be played this year if spectators are not able to attend.

Whistling Straits in Wisconsin is set to host the event from 25-27 September.

"My personal hunch is that I don't see how it is going to happen, so I do not think that it will happen," the world number one 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."

Europe have won seven out of the past nine Ryder Cups, including the last event in France in 2018.

Rory McIlroy (centre) celebrates at the 2018 Ryder Cup, flanked by Europe team-mates Tommy Fleetwood (left) and Francesco Molinari (right)
Rory McIlroy helped Europe defeat the US at the 2018 Ryder Cup

No concerns about travelling to Europe

McIlroy joined Americans Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in taking part in a charity skins game in Florida earlier this month, which was played with no spectators in attendance.

Competitive golf across the world has been suspended since 12 March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the PGA Tour is set to resume on 11 June, behind closed doors, at the Charles Schwab Colonial event in Texas.

McIlroy, who is set to play in all of the first three PGA Tour tournaments upon golf's return, revealed he would have no concerns about travelling to Europe 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 responded when asked if he would consider playing in Europe later this year.

"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."

Unsure about playing in Irish Open

McIlroy and Johnson defeated Fowler and Wolff in the skins match
Four-time major winner McIlroy and Johnson defeated Fowler and Wolff in the skins match

The postponed 2020 Irish Open was due to take place this week at Mount Juliet Estate, with a possible rescheduled date in autumn being considered.

McIlroy, who did not play in last year's event at Lahinch, said he is unsure if he will take part in this year's tournament if it goes ahead.

"I don't know, I really don't know," he continued. "I haven't looked past the PGA Tour play-offs [scheduled for September]. All I have pinpointed for the back end of the year at the minute are the majors, everything else is really up in the air.

"I would like to see the Irish Open played but I imagine if it was then it would be behind closed doors, meaning the public would not get to see the big names compete up close and in person."

McIlroy made headlines across the world before the charity skins match when he criticised US President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The 31-year-old says he is comfortable offering his opinion on issues if asked, but that it is not because of his position at the top of the world rankings.

"It has nothing to do with me being number one in the world, it is just me being more comfortable with who I am and what I believe in," he added.

"Whether I was number one in the world or number 100, if I'm asked my opinion then for the most part I'm happy to share it."

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