Earlier this week U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker said he expects a decision regarding this year’s matches in the “next two or three weeks.” One player keenly awaiting that decision is Henrik Stenson.
The five-time Ryder Cup player said this week during his podcast, “Almost an Hour presented by Callaway Golf,” that he understands the importance of playing the event with fans but he also recognizes the importance of the matches.
“For the atmosphere and for the feeling, for us as players that would be, very blunt, it would be something that you can’t really imagine at this point,” Stenson said. “Then looking at the bigger picture, if that’s the only way that the Ryder Cup can go ahead, and if it’s not an option to play it next year with crowds, with fans, then I would prefer to play a Ryder Cup than to not play a Ryder Cup.”
There’s also the issue of qualifying for this year’s matches. Although the PGA Tour is set to restart its schedule next week at the Charles Schwab Challenge, the European Tour remains on hold until late July which could make qualifying for the European team complicated.
“I think we’ve only played roughly about a third of the qualifying tournaments or the available qualifying points, which kind of compromises the European points list,” he said. “You’ve also got the European players who are playing on the PGA Tour. If now the PGA Tour starts up, is it going to be [based on] world ranking, because the world ranking has been frozen? If those points start to accumulate, it’s obviously not fair for those guys who play Colonial that can earn points towards the qualification and guys who are back home in the U.K. cannot.”
The answer to all of those questions are particularly pressing for Stenson who is currently back home in Sweden and doesn’t plan to compete again until the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in late July.
“We’ll just have to wait and see but I’m certainly keen to get the news on what’s going to happen,” he said.