Henrik Stenson’s tenure as European Ryder Cup captain ‘brought to an end’
The Europeans are in the market for a new Ryder Cup captain.
This comes after Ryder Cup Europe officials announced Wednesday that Henrik Stenson will not captain the home side next year in Italy, saying in a release that Stenson’s tenure as captain “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 fulfill certain contractual obligations to Ryder Cup Europe that he had committed to prior to his announcement as captain … and it is therefore not possible for him to continue in the role of captain.”
The 46-year-old Stenson, who was unveiled as Europe’s 2023 captain in mid-March, has reportedly, according to multiple outlets, agreed to join LIV Golf. While Ryder Cup Europe has yet to ban players who have defected to compete in the Saudi-backed rival league, it’s been reported that Stenson’s contract included language that he could not support or promote “other properties,” which included other tours, leagues, series or competitions.
Stenson addressed those contractual obligation in March: “There’s been a lot of speculation back and forth, but I am fully committed to the captaincy and to Ryder Cup Europe and the job at hand. The captain does sign a contract. He’s the only one that does that. Players and vice captains don’t. But the captain has an agreement, and those agreements are between Ryder Cup Europe and the captain, so I’m fully committed to my role as a captain and working hard toward the result we want in Rome.”
Stenson has yet to be officially announced by LIV, though three spots remain open for the league’s upcoming tournament, which begins next Thursday at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. When he was asked about his upcoming schedule at The Open, Stenson succinctly responded, “Undecided.”
Ryder Cup Europe said that confirmation of its new captain “will be made in due course” and that it would not be commenting further “on any aspect of the process until that time.”
As for a potential replacement: Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell were once considered good bets to captain teams one day, but all three have since signed with LIV. Luke Donald, Paul Lawrie and even past captain Thomas Bjorn, one of Stenson’s vice-captains, are all options.
Last year’s captain, Padraig Harrington, said earlier this month that he didn’t see himself captaining another squad.