Sacked Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson confirms he is joining LIV Golf series

Swede says he is 'hugely disappointed to not be allowed to continue' in prestigious role

Henrik Stenson was appointed European Ryder Cup captain in March. AP
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Henrik Stenson has announced that he will be joining the LIV Golf Invitational Series, hours after he was stripped of the European Ryder Cup captaincy.

The Swede was appointed as captain in March but Ryder Cup Europe released a statement on Wednesday saying that it was not possible for Stenson to continue in his role.

Stenson later confirmed on social media that he would play in the third LIV Golf tournament of the season from July 29-31 in New Jersey at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.

“My interest in this concept has been well documented over the past few years,” Stenson said in his statement.

“And despite some of the unfortunate and ongoing tension between LIV Golf, the DP World Tour & PGA Tours, the opportunity to play in LIV events moving forward is something that I want to experience.

“Like many of my fellow professionals, my hope is that my decision to play in LIV events will not restrict me from playing on any tour.”

The 46-year-old had hoped to be able to continue as captain while still playing in LIV events but a meeting with officials made it clear to him that was not acceptable.

“Unfortunately my decision to play in LIV events has triggered Ryder Cup Europe to communicate that it is not possible for me to continue in my role as Ryder Cup captain,” he added.

“This is despite me making specific arrangements with LIV golf, who have been supportive of my role as captain, to ensure I could fulfil the obligations of the captaincy.

“While I disagree with this decision, for now it is a decision that I accept.

“I am hugely disappointed to not be allowed to continue in my role but wish you all the best in your ongoing preparations.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Ryder Europe said: “Henrik Stenson’s tenure as captain of Team Europe for the 2023 Ryder Cup … has been brought to an end with ­immediate effect.

“In light of decisions made by Henrik in relation to his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he will not be able to fulfil certain contractual obligations to Ryder Cup Europe … and it is therefore not possible for him to continue in the role of captain.

“Confirmation of the new 2023 European Ryder Cup captain will be made in due course. Ryder Cup Europe will be making no further comment on any aspect of the process until that time.”

While a decision on his replacement has not yet been made, the European team have a number of options with former captain Thomas Bjorn – who led them to victory at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018 – already on the team after Stenson selected him as his first vice-captain.

Promoting him back to the top job would seem the most straightforward option, with the event only 14 months away.

Italian Edoardo Molinari, who alongside his brother Francesco was part of the victorious 2010 team at Celtic Manor in Wales, is also a vice-captain but it would seem too big a step at this stage for him to take over.

England’s Luke Donald and Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, who were pipped to the appointment by Stenson, are other options who could be parachuted in as captain.

Updated: July 20, 2022, 9:40 PM
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