Speculation is mounting that the Ryder Cup will shortly become the latest major sporting contest of 2020 to switch to one year later.
Construction on the spectator facilities at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin has barely begun and yesterday it was announced that the US PGA in August would be held behind closed doors in San Francisco.
If the delay is announced it could be made at the same time as opening the door for the staging of the Dubai Duty free Irish Open at Mount Juliet on what would have been the Ryder Cup weekend. The Irish Open is one of the high profile Rolex Tour events that the European Tour has prioritised to be played if circumstances permit.
The last time the tournament was pushed back was in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on New York in 2001.
At that time the biennial tournament switched from odd to even years and the event at the K Club moved from 2005 to 2006.
In a reflection of that move nearly twenty years ago it is likely now that the schedule would revert back to odd years and that the tournament to be staged at Adare Manor in 2026 would now be in 2027.
The move would mean more space to promote and broadcast away from the FIFA Men’s World Cup and UEFA European Championships and Olympics, in all years bar 2021, though from an Irish perspective it would bring it into close proximity, on the European hosting ‘swing’ to Rugby World Cups.
Ireland missed out on hosting the 2023 World Cup and while no award has yet been made for the Finals of 2027, it is thought possible that an irish bid would be looked on favourably.
Hosting the Ryder Cup and the Rugby World Cup within weeks of each other would be a stretch and while an Irish bid remains purely speculative at this point, this would be a factor.
Ireland came close to winning the right to host the Rugby World Cup 2023 but lost out to France.