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12 weeks, 4 Majors, 1 Ryder Cup? McIlroy predicts high stakes autumn

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20:16 27 Mar 2020

Rory McIlroy is predicting a high-stakes autumn of golf, the likes of which the sport has never seen. 

The US Open is set to become the third Major of the year to be postponed as a result of the coronavirus.

A USGA source told the New York Post that the June 18-21 tournament will be held back until later in the year at Winged Foot.

The Masters has already been postponed, with an October date rumoured for its eventual playing.

And the US PGA Championship also fell by the wayside as a result of COVID-19 fears. TPC Harding Park in San Francisco was due to host the tournament in May.

It seems likely that The Open Championship at Royal St. George's will also have to be moved, with the R&A admitting recently they were "undertaking a comprehensive evaluation" of their plans for the tournament while still optimistic it can go ahead as planned.

September's Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits is also under threat, with now minimal time for qualification and one of Europe's top golfers Tommy Fleetwood calling for it to be postponed.

The upshot of all that, according to McIlroy, is that the highlights of the golf calendar could all be squeezed into a 3-month spell in the autumn.

The world no.1 took part in an online chat with Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp this week where he was asked how he sees the golf schedule playing out, beginning with the Masters, "Obviously Augusta play their cards close to their chest - they really don't let much out of the bag.

"I hope that they play it in October time, which is the rumour. I think it would be great."

It echoes a sentiment of McIlroy's expressed last week when he said an October Masters "would be a very different look than what you usually see at Augusta."

"Potentially you're looking at four Majors and a Ryder Cup, and the FedEx Cup in the space of twelve weeks, if it does happen," he told Redknapp.

"Say The Open, for example gets postponed and that has to be moved back to September.

"You might have the PGA Championship in August, then the FedEx Cup, then The Open Championship, then the Ryder Cup, then the Masters.

"And then if the US Open gets postponed, maybe that gets pushed back to October or November."

"If we all get back to playing mid-summer, it's going to be a hectic 12-15 weeks with all the major events in the space of a couple of months."

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