The PGA of America and The European Ryder Cup Board have agreed that the 34th Ryder Cup Matches scheduled to be played from 28th to 30th September at The De Vere Belfry near Sutton Coldfield, England, should be postponed and tentatively rescheduled for September 2002.
“Given the enormity of the tragedy in America, we informed European officials of our desire to postpone the Matches until next year,” said PGA of America Chief Executive Officer, Jim Awtrey.
“The PGA of America is very appreciative of the support and understanding expressed by European Ryder Cup officials. We understand this is a hardship for them to reschedule the Matches next year at The De Vere Belfry but it was important to us that the Matches be played and not cancelled.
“We will work with our counterparts in Europe over the next year,” Awtrey added “to ensure that The 34th Ryder Cup Matches are played in the spirit in which they were meant.”
Mitchell Platts, spokesman for the European Ryder Cup Board, said,
“The PGA of America has informed The European Ryder Cup Board that the scope of last Tuesday’s tragedy is so overwhelming that it would be impossible for the United States Ryder Cup Team and Officials to attend the Matches this month.
“We have been placed in a position beyond our control and therefore the Matches, out of necessity, have been postponed.
“The invitation for the United States Team and Officials to attend The 34th Ryder Cup Matches has not been withdrawn but extended. We will now start the process of rescheduling the Matches for 2002.”
It has been agreed that The Matches will take place with the same Captains, Sam Torrance (Europe) and Curtis Strange (United States), and the same teams.
“The tragedy in America caused us all to reflect and evaluate our own lives and relationships with family and friends. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by last Tuesday’s disaster,” said Curtis Strange.
“With regards to this year’s Ryder Cup Matches,” he continued, “my concern was always centered on ‘the right thing to do.’ The PGA of America’s decision to postpone the Matches is very appropriate in light of this situation. I look forward to playing the Matches next year.”
“The decision to postpone The Ryder Cup Matches this year is one of commonsense,” agreed Sam Torrance. “What happened in America last week has put The Ryder Cup and everything else into perspective. I am desperately heartbroken for all the people involved in this terrible tragedy.
“All I can feel at the moment is an immense sadness. There will be time enough to talk further about The 34th Ryder Cup Matches taking place next year,” he concluded.
Announcements about tickets and all other aspects and implications of this decision will be made in due course.
PGA of America www.pga.com
European Tour www.europeantour.com