HAMPSHIRE’S Justin Rose thinks European captain Padraig Harrington may need eight captain’s picks as a one-off selection policy for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, in September.
Rose is determined that whatever happens to the Majors in 2020, the Ryder Cup should remain the highlight of the golfing calendar – and does not want it cancelled at this stage as some sources have predicted.
Debate over rearranging the Masters before the Ryder Cup in September – or after in October – has raged since Augusta National postponed April’s first Major of the season.
And with doubts over the US Open going ahead in June after Winged Foot was closed earlier this week – as a result of the coronavirus epidemic in New York – talk about whether Ryder Cup will go ahead has been intensifying.
Rose said: “Looking at it personally I’m not in as good a position as I’d like to be so it makes qualification trickier with events being stripped out – so the teams might look a little different this time around.
“If it goes ahead in 2020, I don’t know if it’s more important that we change the qualification criteria and Padraig gets eight picks maybe – given the circumstances?
“Rules are rules and you’ve got to have some type of guideline,” added Rose, a member at North Hants GC.
“But it’s an imperfect world at the moment and we’ve got to make the best of a bad situation.
“We either keep it where it is and the teams fall where they may, or you move it a year and try to make it a bit more of a highlight.
“The most important thing is that the health of the world is better,” added Justin, who is spending time at his Bahamas home during the current lockdown.
Rose, who blossomed in the county’s amateur ranks before becoming one of the biggest teenage talents in Europe in the mid 1990s, is concerned about what kind of schedule the top Europeans could be left facing when the Tours do get back under way.
With all European Tour golf officially cancelled until the end of May – and with the rising death toll in the UK from COVID-19 cases not expected to peak for another couple of weeks – the season’s main events could all get squeezed into a condensed season.
May’s USPGA Championship, at TPC Harding Park, in San Franciscio, which was called off – and could theoretically move to the slot in the calendar vacated now the Tokyo Olympics has been put back a year.
But reigning Olympic Champion Rose – who learned on Tuesday that he would not be able to defend the Gold Medal he won in Rio, in 2016 – is concerned about what knock-on affect the coronavirus epidemic could have on the Ryder Cup.
Rose said: “The Ryder Cup deserves to be the highlight of the schedule and deserves to have the players look forward to it and the fans to be excited about it.
“It would be a shame if it just kind of fell into a rhythm of golf and there wasn’t as much build-up.
“That’s what creates some of the excitement about the Ryder Cup, the talking about it for a year, the anticipation of it.
‘The qualification period for the Ryder Cup would also be very condensed.”
•You can see the current standings in qualifcation for Europe’s team by clicking here.