Sweden’s Henrik Stenson will no longer serve as the European captain at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, with sources confirming to ESPN that he is preparing to join LIV Golf.
In a statement Wednesday, Ryder Cup Europe confirmed that Stenson would not serve as its captain next year.
“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 on Tuesday March 15, 2022, and it is therefore not possible for him to continue in the role of captain,” the statement read.
Ryder Cup Europe said a new captain would be named “in due course.” England’s Luke Donald, Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, Sweden’s Robert Karlsson and Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn might be in the running to replace Stenson as captain.
Stenson, 46, informed DP World Tour officials Tuesday night of his decision to join LIV Golf, which was first reported by The Telegraph of London. An announcement from LIV Golf could be made as early as Wednesday.
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Stenson and England’s Paul Casey are expected to make their debuts in the next LIV Golf Invitational Series event at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey on July 29-31. LIV Golf announced much of the field Tuesday, leaving three spots open to be “announced in the coming days.”
A handful of PGA Tour players told ESPN at The Open at St. Andrews, Scotland, last week that Stenson was prepared to give up his Ryder Cup captaincy to sign a multiyear contract with LIV Golf that could be worth as much as $40 million.
When Stenson was selected as the Ryder Cup captain, he signed a contract that prohibited him from playing on any circuit other than the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.
It’s another blow for the Ryder Cup European team, which has already had several of its most notable players, including Casey, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, defect to the breakaway LIV Golf circuit.
Stenson, who is ranked 171st in the Official World Golf Ranking, won the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon with a major championship 72-hole scoring record of 264. Stenson’s six PGA Tour victories include the 2009 Players Championship and 2013 Tour Championship. His last victory on the PGA Tour was the 2017 Wyndham Championship.
When Stenson was asked at The Open what his upcoming schedule would include, he said he was “undecided.” He did talk about scouting the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, located about an hour from Rome. It will host the Ryder Cup from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, 2023.
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