Ryder Cup: Stephen Gallacher says tournament needs fans for intensity


Stephen Gallacher was part of Paul McGinley’s successful 2014 Ryder Cup team

Playing the Ryder Cup without fans may lack the “excitement and butterflies” that makes the tournament so special, says Stephen Gallacher.

The Scot, 45, was part of Europe’s winning team at Gleneagles in 2014 and hopes this year’s event in Wisconsin can go ahead in September.

Golf is gradually returning behind closed doors as coronavirus lockdown measures are eased around the globe.

“The fans bring the intensity,” Gallacher told BBC Scotland.

“The fans give you the pressure and the pressure sometimes brings out wonderful moments in sport.

“If you had no fans there, I don’t know if you would have the same excitement and the same butterflies as when you’ve got an amphitheatre there with 20,000 or 30,000 people up at one hole.

“That makes a difference, they are feelings you’ve never had before and that’s what the Ryder Cup’s all about. That’s why it’s magical.”

‘Benefits outweigh risks’ – analysis

European Tour golf chief medical officer Dr Andrew Murray

In professional golf we can socially distance, we can ensure everyone is screened every day and we can test.

It’s quite likely we’ll have positive tests. We’re seeing them in football, we’re going to see them in rugby, we’re going to see them in other sports because one in 400 of the UK population has Covid right now.

We can control the risks of Covid and allow tournaments to go ahead for the social, for the economic and for the wider benefits.

It will be appropriate in time to have spectators, but not right now. We can imagine that happening through the autumn.

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