Stenson Names First European Ryder Cup Vice Captain

Henrik Stenson has made his first Ryder Cup appointment since being named Captain

Stenson holds the Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson has named Thomas Bjorn as his first Vice Captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.

Bjorn is the most successful Danish golfer to have played the game having amassed fifteen victories on the DP World Tour. The 51-year-old became the first Dane to represent Team Europe in the Ryder Cup in 1997 and would feature on three winning teams. 

He has plenty of leadership experience having captained Europe in the 2009 Seve Trophy as well as being a Ryder Cup Vice Captain to Bernhard Langer (2004), Colin Montgomerie (2010), Jose Maria Olazabal (2012) and Darren Clarke (2016). The Dane was appointed Captain in 2018, where he led Europe to a convincing 17 1/2 - 10 1/2 victory at Le Golf National.

Speaking of his decision, Stenson said: “I have known Thomas for my whole career. I trust him implicitly and I know any advice he will give me will be honest and direct. He will not simply tell me what he thinks I want to hear and that will be important, so I’m delighted to have him as my first Vice Captain for Rome."

The Ice-Man added: "Since the match itself is still over a year away, I know I am going to have a lot of conversations with him about all elements of the Ryder Cup from his experience, both as a Vice Captain on previous occasions but also, obviously, as the Captain in 2018 when we had a great result. I will be depending on him a lot and I’m really looking forward to those chats.

“He was very happy when I asked him. He was very honoured to be asked and happy to be part of Team Europe again and part of the journey with the players.”

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Bjorn was ecstatic to be appointed as Vice Captain to Stenson, who was a key figure on the Danes team in Paris. “I’m delighted to be part of the whole Ryder Cup experience once again," he said. "I probably thought that after 2018 that was it for me, but Henrik called me to talk about Captaincy in general and that led into him asking me if I wanted to do another stint as Vice Captain, which I agreed to. I’m excited to work with him.

“I think I can help Henrik outline what he wants to do with his Captaincy going forwards. I can keep asking him the right questions and reminding him of things that are going to come his way that he might not have thought about. I will help him prepare in the best possible way and as we get closer to the match, to be an additional support to the players.

“I think Henrik will be a fantastic Captain. He is so well respected by players and by everyone in the game. He is a very hard-working golfer and somebody who is true to himself, and his team will represent that. He has a great sense of humour that the players will take to, and he is very well liked across the whole Tour, not just the top where he has played his golf for so many years.”

Team Europe will be seeking to regain the Ryder Cup against the United States team which will be led by Zach Johnson. Johnson has named victorious 2020 US Captain Steve Stricker as his first Vice Captain.

Thomas Bjorn celebrates with fans at the 2018 Ryder Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.