Bjorn: Golf must get used to no spectators

The Masters to be played without spectators in November; decision means all three majors in 2020 to be played behind closed doors

Last Updated: 13/08/20 8:39am








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2018 Team Europe Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn says it will take some time to get used to the fact there will be no fans at big tournaments like The Masters

2018 Team Europe Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn says it will take some time to get used to the fact there will be no fans at big tournaments like The Masters

Thomas Bjorn says golf must get used to major tournaments being played behind closed doors, with spectators unable to attend the Masters at Augusta National.

Augusta chairman Fred Ridley has confirmed the tournament will go ahead in November but without fans present following talks with health officials, admitting the decision is necessary but “deeply disappointing”.

The announcement means that all three majors this year will be played with no spectators on site, while The 149th Open at Royal St George’s has been moved to 2021.

Bjorn admits the situation is far from ideal but feels the recent PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park proved that entertaining golf can be played without fans present.

“This is the world that we live in right now and we don’t know when fans are going to be back on the golf course,” Bjorn told Sky Sports News.

“You make these decisions as they come along and you get to the events… it’s obviously tough for events and it’s different to watch.

Bjorn supports the decision to postpone the 2020 Ryder Cup until next year Bjorn supports the decision to postpone the 2020 Ryder Cup until next year

Bjorn supports the decision to postpone the 2020 Ryder Cup until next year

“In football, it took me two or three weeks of watching before I really got used to the games without fans but we just had to get on with and get used to it, and it’s the same for golf events.

“I actually thought, when you look at the PGA Championship, how good the golf was at the weekend and how tight it was coming into Sunday – it was still a great event to watch on TV.

“Obviously you want to have fans out there but at the moment we can’t so we’ve got to go with what’s the second-best choice.”

While Bjorn supports the Masters being played behind closed doors, he also backs the decision to postpone the 2020 Ryder Cup until next year.

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The event was due to take place at Whistling Straits in September but has now been delayed for 12 months after organisers decided that playing without fans was “not a realistic option”.

“The Ryder Cup is an event that needs that positive build-up to it and I feel that a lot of the atmosphere would be about all the problems that come with the situation that we’re in,” added Bjorn, who captained Europe to victory in the 2018 event at Le Golf National.

“It was the right decision to make and we look forward to 2021 when it can take place.

“I also think for the captains and the players, you want to be properly focused on the event and not all the other surrounding things.

“I think it was a good decision, an unfortunate decision but the right decision.”

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