Luke Donald 'would love' to replace Henrik Stenson as Europe captain at Ryder Cup

Former world No 1 reveals talks have taken place and he has 'very good chance' of landing role

Luke Donald says it would be 'a huge honour' to captain the European team at next year's Ryder Cup. Reuters
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Former world No 1 Luke Donald has said that he “would love” to replace Henrik Stenson as captain of Team Europe for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Stenson was sacked from the role last week, hours before the Swede announced that he was joining the lucrative Saudi-backed series.

Following Stenson's announcement, the British media reported that Donald was lined up to replace him as the non-playing captain, with an official announcement expected next week.

“There’s nothing official to report,” Donald told Golfweek. “I have been in talks with Guy [Kinnings, Ryder Cup director] at the European Tour. And that’s all I know right now. I know I have a very good chance, Thomas Bjorn and a couple other guys are under consideration.

“I’ve certainly had some of my best moments on the golf course in the Ryder Cups. What an amazing honour it is to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, and I would love to be a captain. That would be a huge honour as well.

“If I got this captaincy I would live up to my word and see it through. Let me put it that way. I wouldn’t be doing a Henrik.”

Meanwhile, Henrik Stenson has reiterated his disappointment at losing the captaincy with Donald now set to lead Europe in Rome next year.

The former Open champion had hoped to be able to continue in the position while still playing in LIV events, but a meeting with Ryder Cup Europe officials made it clear that was not acceptable.

Speaking before his LIV debut at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, Stenson said: “I made every arrangement possible here to be able to fulfil my captain’s duties, and I’ve had great help here from LIV to be able to do that.

Left to right: Sam Horsfield, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. Getty

“And still, the decision was made that I was to be removed. I’m obviously disappointed over the situation. But it is what it is, and yeah, we move on from there now.”

And the 46-year-old also declined to expand on what he meant by saying he accepted the decision to strip him of the captaincy “for now”, with teammates Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter pointing out that qualifying criteria for the 2023 Ryder Cup had yet to be announced.

“On my statement last week, as you clearly have read, I just expect to be treated fairly going forward depending on what the outcomes are in this whole case,” Stenson added.

“And [it] is yet to be seen what decisions are to be made and when we will be notified of anything like the boys are saying here, qualification and vice captaincies and all the rest.

“So up until that point, we just wait for European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe to make those announcements.”

Asked about reports that Donald would soon be appointed captain, Stenson said: “Well, that’s news to me.

“Obviously I’m not in the loop on these things at this point. I don’t feel like I should comment on that until that’s official news, if that were to be the case.”

Updated: July 29, 2022, 7:56 AM
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