Paul Lawrie believes the Ryder Cup will be the big loser if it goes ahead behind closed doors in September.
The sporting calendar has been stopped in its tracks by the lockdown put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And with several golf tournaments being called off due to the shutdown, including the US Masters, the outlook for the remaining big events in 2020 is uncertain.
One idea being touted should sporting events return, is to hold this year’s cup match at Whistling Straits on September 25 behind closed doors.
Former Open champion Lawrie, who played in two Ryder Cups, believes such a move would have a detrimental effect.
He said: “Fans are a massive part of sport, certainly the bigger events.
“It would be very strange to play a Ryder Cup without fans. I mean, on one hand it would be quite good because it would save some people abusing you.
“But, on the other hand, it’s part of it. When you are playing away from home, there are more home fans than there are away fans – and that’s a massive part of the Ryder Cup.
“I would see that as quite difficult to do. But, again, the way things are going at the moment, they’re obviously looking at all aspects and so they should be. There is nothing off the table, I wouldn’t have said, at the moment.
“But fans are a massive part of it, especially a tournament of that size.”
Europe captain Padraig Harrington is keen to forge ahead and stick to this year’s scheduled date if possible, even if it means the selection process will be fundamentally altered due to no events being played.
Should the match go ahead, Harrington could find himself picking all 12 players.
Lawrie is relieved he does not have that decision to make.
He said: “I read that Padraig had been asked the question and clearly the obvious answer would be they want to play it and are looking at ways to do so however they can.
“If everything keeps going the way it is going and no-one is going to play any golf, then I don’t know. Is that an option?
“Thankfully, I’m not the captain, I’m not on the Ryder Cup Committee, I’m not having to make a decision on anything like that.
“But, again, there’s players who haven’t got long to qualify, there’s some who are in the team at the moment, I don’t know what is fair and what is not.
“You won’t please everyone, but the world is in an uncertain place at the moment and sport is the least of our worries.”