Henrik Stenson’s Italian Job: The Swede handed the European captaincy for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome

Stenson will go head to head with his US counterpart Zach Johnson at Marco Simone GC in two years time.

A charismatic leader.

Pitted against a fearsome opponent in an iconic European city.

Uniting a disparate group of quirky individuals.

Funded by a UK-based operation.

Plotting and planning.

Scheming and strategising.

"We are about to do a job in, err, Italy. It's a very difficult job and the only way to get through it is we all work together as a team. And that means you do everything I say."

Sound familiar?

Charlie Croker had 99 minutes; Henrik Stenson has 564 days to complete his Italian Job.

Today the Swede was announced as Europe's 2023 Ryder Cup captain, in Rome rather than Turin, and he'll need to use all his wiles to wrestle the trophy from the grasp of the visiting Americans.

True, Europe has won every home match since 1997, but last year's 19-9 defeat was a humbling experience.

The youthful, un-scarred Americans thumped a European team over-reliant on a veteran backbone.

The announcement was not a time for in-depth focus on the extent of the challenge. Instead Stenson was excited about the prospect of leading his continent.

"I'm very humbled and proud to be given the captaincy," he said. "I'm super, super excited for the journey ahead."

He was also proud of what it means for his country, as well as himself.

"Thinking back to the history of Swedish players," he added. "I feel like this is also for them. Sweden's played a big part in The Ryder Cup history and to be able to accept this captaincy, it goes back to the players that have been before me."

European Ryder Cup Director Guy Kinnings was bullish about the man charged with regaining the cup.

"He's a major winner," he said. "He's a two-time European No. 1. He's a FedEx Cup champion and he played with some distinction in five Ryder Cups holing the winning putt in 2006.

"He was also vice captain at Whistling Straits, and I think that's part of the process that we have of evolving players into vice captaincy and then into the captaincy role. We know he will have the respect of all of the players and all of us at Ryder Cup Europe.

"He has a dry sense of humour, but we should also remember he's a ferocious competitor and I think those qualities will be critical in his role leading the team as we look to reclaim The Ryder Cup in Rome next year."

Let's see what else Stenson had to say.

Stenson on captaining in an iconic city

"I think it's got the potential, clearly, to be the best Ryder Cup ever. The City of Rome has so much to offer. I think we can make it really, really special. The European fans will travel in from near and far. Add to that the very passionate Italian fans and I think we've got really the right mix."

Stenson on facing a strong US team

"I know my players are going to be up for a challenge. We saw a very strong American Team at Whistling Straits but we also saw that coming into Paris. Yeah, we got beaten last time around but we also managed to beat the strong opponent in the past. So we're going to spend these 564 days to prepare the best we can."

Stenson on committing to the DP World Tour and no the Saudi League

"Yeah, there's been a lot of speculations back and forth and, as I said, I am fully committed to the captaincy and to Ryder Cup Europe and the job at hand. So we're going to keep busy with that and I'm going to do everything in my power to deliver a winning team in Rome."

Stenson on his methods

"I want to be a players' captain. I want to be closely with the players and, as you know, for decades we've had a great bond within The European Team room and within the players, and I want to continue to build on that and make sure we keep that. Given that I'm very much an active player, I will have the opportunity to meet up with both the experienced players, and also the young and upcoming players on the European side.

Stenson on Team Europe's generational change

"Looking solely at the age, our average age at Whistling Straits was near enough 35 years and the American side had about a 26 average. So we certainly had an older team and at some point, there will be a shift, and I can definitely see that happening this time around.

"I can also see a few hungry veterans wanting to keep their jerseys. I know from my own experience that when you play in a Ryder Cup, you don't want to hand that jersey to someone else. You are going to fight dearly to keep it another time. And that's exciting for me as a captain to follow all these players, knowing how hard they will work to make sure they are.

"But yeah, everything is a possibility and a shift in the generations for sure seems one of them."

Stenson on what makes the Ryder Cup special

"It's hard to explain the feeling in a team room with the guys. We are all getting together to play for our countries, for the continent, for the fans and each other. The bonds you create, the atmosphere on the first tee, on the 18th green, when a match is coming up to the final holes … it's just a sporting event like no other, and that's what makes it so interesting for the fans. All sports fans zoom in when it's the Ryder Cup.

"The raw emotion that goes with victories, with losses, happiness and disappointment and other circumstances. Yeah, I've got some of my greatest memories and some of my strongest connections with other players from The Ryder Cup. It's experiences of a lifetime."

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