Solheim Cup remains set for September 2021, despite Ryder Cup clash
The Solheim Cup, the biennial women's team golf tournament contested by Europe and USA, will seemingly not be shifting from its planned September 2021 time slot in the US, despite yesterday's announcement that the men's Ryder Cup will also now be taking place in the country that month.
The Ryder Cup has been postponed by 12 months from its original 2020 scheduled dates, because of the desire among organisers to have fans at the iconic event. That would not be possible if it took place in USA this year, where the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, and almost all sporting events are taking place behind closed doors.
It will now take place 24 to 26 September 2021, in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, while as things stand, the Solheim Cup is set for 4 to 6 September at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
There are currently no plans afoot, however, to move the women's event.
Mike Whan, commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, told the BBC: “We are excited for this double-header, to celebrate all the great golfers, male and female, who play for USA and Europe.”
Alexandra Arma, head of the Ladies European Tour, did however add: “This year, we have all faced challenges we need to adjust to, and as part of the changing landscape of global sports events we will be assessing the long-term impact of these changes on future Solheim Cup dates.”
It was also announced yesterday that all future editions of the Ryder Cup will now switch to odd years, having taken place in even years since 2002.
This would put the two events side by side from now on, with both traditionally taking place in September or October, which will likely lead to fears in some quarters of overcrowding, and that the Ryder Cup taking place at the same time will deny its women’s equivalent visibility.
In April this year, Whan said, responding to rumours at that time that the Ryder Cup was set for a 12-month delay: “Nothing drowns out a Solheim Cup… I’ve said many times it’s the greatest spectacle in women’s golf and we’ll be just fine in 2021.”
Europe are the current Solheim Cup champions, winning the last event at Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2019.
As well as the Ryder Cup announcement, this week has brought the news that the Women’s British Open will take place in its scheduled late-August slot.
The event, which is set to be the first women’s major of the year, will be held, albeit without spectators, at Royal Troon in Scotland on 20 to 23 August.
While men’s golf returned after the hiatus in early June, women’s golf has not yet swung back into action.
The Evian Championship, a major which was due to take place in France in early-August, was cancelled last month.