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‘The world … is ready to have a party’

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – When the Ryder Cup was postponed final 12 months, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh declared, “A Ryder Cup with no fans is not a Ryder Cup.”

As the Ryder Cup, which is to be contested from Sept. 24-26, nears, Waugh expressed confidence that followers could be a massive a part of the biennial occasion between Team USA and Europe.

“We have every hope and every desire and we’re working very hard to make it an absolute full fan experience,” Waugh stated Tuesday throughout a press convention on the PGA Championship. “We’re working obviously with the state and local governments to have all those conversations. It’ll be fluid. But our plan is to have a Ryder Cup in a way – have it be the greatest Ryder Cup in history. I think the world as we’ve seen is ready to have a party.”

How massive that get together will likely be is to be decided. The PGA introduced earlier this 12 months that it might cap attendance at 10,000 spectators a day for this week’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course.

“We are working with the county and the state of Wisconsin and have submitted our COVID protocol plan, which as Seth mentioned continues to change and evolve every day,” stated Kerry Haigh, the PGA of America’s chief championships officer. “We’re hopeful that by September we will be able to have full attendance. If it were today, we could not, based on where COVID numbers are, but certainly with the vaccine and the numbers coming down, we are very hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to have a full attendance.”

Haigh performed coy on how he outlined “full attendance” however the galleries on the 2016 Ryder Cup swelled to greater than 50,000 followers per day. Michael O’Reilly, the director of golf operations at Destination Kohler, operator of host web site Whistling Straits, beforehand tabbed full capability to be round 40,000 followers per day.

“The Olympics is going to happen it looks like, but not in the way that you would hope it would. And so this is really going to be the first time to cheer for your country, to have that sort of tribal – in-person anyway – to have that sort of tribal atmosphere that is so important,” Waugh stated. “We’re hopeful that September will be one of the great events in golf and a great sort of exclamation point to the end of this thing. We think it’s all going to happen fast from here, certainly from a U.S. perspective. I realize the world still has a lot of challenges out there, but from a U.S. perspective we’re really hopeful we’ll be able to pull it off.”

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