Tommy Fleetwood calls for Ryder Cup to follow Olympics and Euro 2020 lead by postponing due to coronavirus

The two-time Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner says September's clash at Whistling Straits should be pushed back a year

March 13, 2020; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA; Tommy Fleetwood addresses the media while leaving the clubhouse after the cancellation of the 2020 edition of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course. The tournament was cancelled at the conclusion of the first round due to the developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Tommty Fleetwood, the two-time Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner, has said the Ryder Cup should follow the lead of the Olympics and Euro 2020 in postponing this year's tournament to 2021

The 29-year-old Englishman believes the coronavirus pandemic will make qualifying for the biennial contest between the United States and Europe unfair.

The Ryder Cup is slated for September 25-28 in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.

Qualifying for the event lasts from September 19 2019 to September 13 this year but already two of the four majors – The Masters and the PGA – have been postponed.

"It would be a shame and feel weird to have to wait for so long after the last Ryder Cup, but you just have to take whatever comes," Fleetwood, who won back-to-back Abu Dhabi titles in 2017 and '18, said to The Times. "And it would be fairer in qualification terms for it to be pushed back."

Fleetwood – the 2017 Race To Dubai winner and runner up in 2019 – should have no problem qualifying as he presently sits top of the European points list.

He formed a devastating partnership with Italian Francesco Molinari at the 2018 Ryder Cup in France winning all four of their matches.

Fleetwood says the players have to be prepared for any eventuality. "The main thing is to be ready, both physically and mentally," he said. "My psychologist said, 'You will never get this period back'.

"It's not great in terms of practice and playing time, but it will be good for rest and recovery."

"Hopefully, this will never happen again but we have to deal with it," added Fleetwood who has a putting green and a simulator in his house but can't use the garden to practice as it is a "sandpit" due to work being carried out on it.

He says he has told his father and father-in-law to stay indoors which they have accepted "through gritted teeth and in a grumpy way".

On Monday, the British Government ordered the nationwide shut down of non-essential shops and services and people to stay at home.

He has other concerns too as the people most at risk are those with underlying health issues – his mother, Sue, has Crohn's disease and his stepson, Oscar, 13, has type 1 diabetes.

However, Fleetwood sees a positive side emanating from the pandemic.

"One thing that has been amazing from all this is how people's attitudes change in a crisis," he said.

"I've seen so many positive messages that people are sending. It's a shame that it can't be like that all the time."