Henrik Stenson has been stripped of Europe’s Ryder Cup captaincy amid speculation he will accept an offer to join the breakaway LIV Golf Series.
European preparations for next September’s Ryder Cup in Rome have been rocked by speculation that Stenson would be the latest player to join the Saudi Arabia-backed rebel tour.
Stenson was made captain in March and the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour, had issued warnings that any player signing up for the lucrative LIV Golf would not be eligible to play in the Ryder Cup.
And after discussions with Ryder Cup Europe officials, the decision was made to effectively sack him as captain on Wednesday.
“The Ryder Cup Europe today confirms that Henrik Stenson’s tenure as Team Europe Captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy, from 25 September to 1 October 2023 ends with immediate effect became. ‘ was one explanation.
“Given the choices Henrik has made regarding his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he has certain contractual obligations to the Ryder Cup Europe that he made prior to his announcement as captain on Tuesday 15th 2022 and it is him therefore not possible to continue the role of captain.
“Confirmation of the new captain of the 2023 European Ryder Cup will follow in due course. Ryder Cup Europe will not comment on any aspect of the process until that point.”
The 46-year-old Swede, who won the Open in 2016 and is a two-time European Player of the Year, could take part in the third LIV Golf event next week, which has individual event prize money totaling £20 million.
Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell, all of whom were potential future Ryder Cup captains as stalwarts of the European team, are also ineligible after joining LIV Golf ahead of its inaugural event at St Albans last month to have.
Former skipper Thomas Bjorn, who guided her to victory at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018, is already on the team after Stenson named him his first vice-captain.
Promoting him back to the top job seems like the easiest option as the event is only 14 months away.
Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, who was part of the victorious 2010 at Celtic Manor in Wales alongside his brother Francesco, is also vice-captain but it seems too big a step for him to take over at this point.
Luke Donald, who was escorted to the appointment by Stenson, is another option to parachute.