Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlory is sure that the 2020 Ryder Cup will be postponed until 2021.
The Ulsterman believes that the players will not want to perform in front of empty stands. The atmosphere generated by the crowds at the Ryder Cup is what makes the event so special.
McIlroy feels that the event just would not be the same without people watching.
The event was set to be hosted in the USA this year, with Whistling Straits in Wisconsin as the course, 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.
“I see it being pushed back until 2021 and, honestly, I think that will be the right call.”
The last edition of the Ryder Cup took place in France in 2018. It was won by McIlroy’s Europe team.
The Europeans have enjoyed plenty of success in the event in recent years, having won seven out of the past nine Ryder Cups.
Competitive golf has been placed on stand-by since March 12, due the global health emergency caused by the Covd-19 pandemic.
The PGA Tour is set to resume on June 11, however, when the Charles Schwab Colonial event in Texas takes place.
That tournament will be played behind closed doors. McIlroy himself, along with Americans Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff, played in a charity skins game in Florida earlier in May.
That event also took place behind closed doors with no spectators present.
McIlroy is set to play in all of the first three PGA Tour events once golf resumes. He has stated that he has no concerns about travelling to play in Europe later in the year.
If some of the summer’s big events are postponed until the autumn, McIlory will be particularly jeen to play in Europe.
“Maybe if Wentworth gets moved to October, which they are thinking of, then I could see myself going over and playing that event,” he said.
He is uncertain, though, about whether or not he will play in the Irish Open this year. He did not play in last year’s event at Lahinch.
This year’s event was set to take place at Mount Juliet Estate but has been postponed. McIlroy has not made plans to participate if it is postponed until later in the year.
While the Ulsterman has pinpointed playing in the Majors, everything else he states is “up in the air.”
McIlroy also made the headlines across the world recently when he criticised US President Donald Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.