Henrik Stenson stripped of Ryder Cup captaincy amid LIV Golf speculation

Henrik Stenson stripped of Ryder Cup captaincy amid LIV Golf speculation

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Eleven-time European Tour winner Henrik Stenson was stripped of his Ryder Cup captaincy on Wednesday amid speculation that he is set to join the rival Saudi-backed LIV Golf league before its third installation next week. 

“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 from Sept. 25–Oct. 1, 2023, has been brought to an end with immediate effect,” the statement read. 

Henrik Stenson on the driving range during the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club on July 9, 2022, in North Berwick, Scotland.

Henrik Stenson on the driving range during the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club on July 9, 2022, in North Berwick, Scotland. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

“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.”

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Multiple reports on Tuesday suggested Stenson, 46, would be the latest golfer to ditch the DP World Tour for LIV Golf ahead of the Bedminster Invitational at Trump National Golf Club next week. The official field was announced Tuesday evening with three vacant spots. 

According to ESPN, Stenson informed the European Tour of his decision Tuesday, but an official announcement by LIV Golf has yet to be made. 

Henrik Stenson plays his second shot on the fourth hole during The 150th Open at St. Andrews Old Course on July 15, 2022, in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Henrik Stenson plays his second shot on the fourth hole during The 150th Open at St. Andrews Old Course on July 15, 2022, in St. Andrews, Scotland. (Stuart Franklin /R&A via Getty Images)

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Stenson is No. 171 in the world and has gone five years since winning a tournament against more than 20 players. When announced as captain in March, he said: “I’m fully committed to my role as a captain and working hard toward the result we want in Rome.”

Henrik Stenson acknowledges the crowd during the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed at Halmstad Golf Club on June 12, 2022, in Halmstad, Sweden.

Henrik Stenson acknowledges the crowd during the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed at Halmstad Golf Club on June 12, 2022, in Halmstad, Sweden. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

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The Americans are coming off a record rout at Whistling Straits last year. The Ryder Cup next goes to Marco Simone outside Rome in 2023.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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