Henrik Stenson has been ousted as Ryder Cup captain for Europe, choosing guaranteed money offered by a Saudi-funded rival league over leading his team in the most celebrated event on the European tour calendar.
The LIV Golf series has three additions for its upcoming 54-hole tournament at Trump National in New Jersey next week and Sky Sports said Stenson would go to the rival league.
That meant giving up a captaincy he accepted four months ago when he said: “I am fully committed to my role as captain and working hard to achieve the result we want in Rome.”
The Americans are coming off a record loss at Whistling Straits last year. The Ryder Cup will go to Marco Simone on the outskirts of Rome in 2023.
The European tour made no mention of LIV Golf in its brief statement on Wednesday after meeting the Swedish star, only that Stenson’s captaincy “has come to an end with immediate effect”.
“In light of the decisions made by Henrik in relation to his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he will not be able to fulfill certain contractual obligations to the Ryder Cup Europe to which he had committed prior to his announcement as captain,” the statement said. . .
Luke Donald was also considered a European captain when Stenson was given the job. Robert Karlsson was also an option and it would be surprising if Europe went back to Thomas Bjorn, the winning captain in France in 2018 and the loudest voice in Europe.
Stenson is World No. 171 and it has been five years since he won a tournament against more than 20 players. He fits the profile of many players Greg Norman has enrolled in his LIV Golf series: great champions whose best days are behind them.
He was thought to be the ideal candidate for the Saudis, but he had to weigh cash against his legacy as Ryder Cup captain. He chose one, then the other.