Tommy Fleetwood says Ryder Cup to be 'shining light' after coronavirus

Europe's clash with the United States is scheduled to be played at Whistling Straits in September, but that date remains in doubt

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 29, 2020 Tommy Fleetwood of England plays his shot from the ninth tee during the final round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa Champion course on March 01, 2020 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.   Spectators will be banned from all US PGA Tour events through next month's Texas Open, tour commissioner Jay Monahan said March 12, 2020, imposing the ban through the final tuneup event for the Masters due to coronavirus concerns. The move came during the first round of the Players Championship, where Japan's Hideki Matsuyama fired a course record-tying nine-under par 63 at TPC Sawgrass to seize the early clubhouse lead at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
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Tommy Fleetwood says he wants the Ryder Cup to be a "shining light" when sports finally returns after the coronavirus.

Europe's clash with the United States is scheduled to be played at Whistling Straits in September.

That date remains in doubt due to the pandemic but Fleetwood, who hopes to be part of the European team, believes the showpiece event could serve as a welcome distraction as the world struggles to stem the spread of the pandemic.

Fleetwood told the BBC: "I think there are certain events that would be an amazing torch for a turn in how the world is getting on and the Ryder Cup would be one of them that is like a shining light at the end of the tunnel."

Last week, the two-time Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner said the Ryder Cup should be postponed until 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic making qualifying for the biennial contest unfair.

Fleetwood was part of the European team that triumphed 17½ to 10½ over the US in France in 2018, taking four points from five matches. The Englishman is well placed to feature in Padraig Harrington's team this year, should the Ryder Cup go ahead as planned, sitting fifth in qualifying.

"It is obviously a very interesting one in terms of that qualification. For me I am fine if it stayed as it is at the moment so I don't mind either way if it was to be played," he added.

"But it should take its full course. The Ryder Cup is an event people dream about and sometimes it can only happen once."

A host of major sporting events from the Tokyo Olympics to football's European Championship have already been postponed, while three of golf's four majors - the US Masters, US PGA Championship and US Open - have all been moved, with doubts about the British Open going ahead as well.

"I think there are five events really, the majors and the Ryder Cup, whatever happens it is going to work around those events I would guess," Fleetwood said.

"And however that works I have no idea. Those are the ones that everybody will be keen to get going and we will see how that goes and how people plan that out.

"They are in constant conversations every day to see what the options are. Whatever happens I think those will be the ones that get put front in line."