Padraig Harrington wants Ryder Cup to go ahead even if qualifying is shortened

Padriag Harrington says it would be better to stage the Ryder Cup on schedule this September with a shortened qualification period than postpone the biennial showpiece.

The coronavirus pandemic has already forced the first two major championships of the year – the Masters and the US PGA – to postpone.

Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood have both called for the tournament to be put back 12 months amid the current global uncertainty.

Three-time major winner Harrington will captain Europe at Whistling Straits and would rather the event took place this year – even if it means changing the qualification criteria.

“We’re playing on, if at all possible, because the merit of getting out there and showcasing our sport far outweighs a perfect qualifying system,” the Irishman told the Daily Mail.

“It wouldn’t worry me if we were the first tournament back and I had to go with 12 picks with no qualifying.

“In many ways it would be perfect if the Ryder Cup was the first tournament back. Just 12 guys from Europe and  12 guys from America, with no prize money at stake and competing just for the glory.

“Wouldn’t that be a nice way for the sport to start back?”

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