Henrik Stenson Stripped Of Ryder Cup Captaincy Amid LIV Golf Move

The Swede will no longer captain Team Europe in Rome

Henrik Stenson poses for Team Europe after Ryder Cup captaincy announcement
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson has been stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy amid recent reports that he is to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.

"Ryder Cup Europe today confirms that Henrik Stenson’s tenure as Captain of Team Europe for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy, has been brought to an end with immediate effect," the official statement reads.

"In light of decisions made by Henrik in relation to his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he will not be able to fulfil 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.

"Confirmation of the new 2023 European Ryder Cup Captain will be made in due course. Ryder Cup Europe will be making no further comment on any aspect of the process until that time."

In what can only be described as a monumental U-turn, and perhaps the biggest coup for LIV Golf, the Swede looks set to be unveiled as the latest player to join the Greg Norman-fronted venture in what is reported to include a signing-on fee in the region of $40m.

The decision is the worst possible outcome for Ryder Cup officials and the DP World Tour who continue to battle the ongoing threat that LIV Golf has placed on the establish ecosystem. They must now do so having lost their Ryder Cup captain. 

The 46-year-old reportedly met with Ryder Cup chiefs shortly after the conclusion of the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, and it would now appear they failed to persuade the former Champion Golfer of the Year to not join the Series.

Englishman Luke Donald was Stenson's nearest competitor in the race and may well be looked upon once more by Ryder Cup officials, alongside Paul Lawrie, Robert Karlsson and Europe's last winning captain - Thomas Bjorn. All of which are seen to have unwavering loyalty to the DP World Tour.

At the time of his appointment, Stenson said: "When I started out as a professional golfer, it was beyond my wildest dreams that, one day, I would follow in the footsteps of legends of the game such as Seve and be the European Ryder Cup Captain. But today proves that, sometimes, dreams do come true."

The 2016 Open champion is now set to turn his back on those dreams and join fellow European Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer in the controversial Series. Whilst they may have been unlikely to feature in a playing capacity, all would have been expected to hold captain and/or vice captain positions in future.

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.