Brooks Koepka admits he would consider boycotting Ryder Cup without fans


Brooks Koepka insists he is open to boycotting the Ryder Cup if no fans are permitted.

The United States are set to host Europe on 25 September at Whistling Straits, but no decision has been made over whether fans will be able to attend.

While Rory McIlroy has already announced he would prefer the tournament to be postponed until 2021 if it is not safe for fans to attend due to Covid-19.

And now Koepka has gone further by admitting he could opt not to play unless fans line the fairways and greens.

“Possibly,” said the four-time major winner when asked if players could boycott the event. “I think there’s a lot more that goes into that, why they [PGA of America] would be playing, personally. As players, I think we all know why they’re playing or why we would play.”

“That’s the only reason,” the American added when pinpointing the financial motivation to go ahead even if fans are not able to attend.

“If we’re not playing in front of fans, it’s just like us playing a game in Florida. If there’s no fans out there you’re not going to see guys fist pumping and that passion behind it.

“The Ryder Cup is a true sporting event. It’s different than any other golf tournament we play. It’s a true sporting event, and I think if we can have fans, that’s perfect, and if we can’t, it just seems kind of like an exhibition—which it kind of already is. I just don’t want to play it without fans.”

Captains Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington are also reluctant for the show to go ahead without fans, but the PGA of America continue to leave the option open.

“It goes without saying, really, that we’re hopeful that we can do it with fans, but that remains to be seen,” PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh told Golf Digest last month. “If we can’t have fans, I think we have to kind of go back to the drawing board and talk about it at length.

“The Ryder Cup is unique. I mean, every event needs fans and every major needs fans. But certainly our event or the Masters would not be the same. The Ryder Cup is all about the fans.

“The first tee on the first day is a more important moment, to a large degree, than the last putt on the last day. And that’s because of the fans and the tribalism and nationalism and all those things. Given the sports environment this year, it would be a real exclamation point, especially with the Olympics being postponed.”


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