Henrik Stenson removed as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain following links to LIV Golf Series

Former Open champion Henrik Stenson has been removed as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, with the Swede expected to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.

The 46-year-old is understood to be on the verge of signing for the newly-created breakaway tour and, following discussions with Ryder Cup Europe officials, a decision was taken to effectively remove him from his captaincy role. 

"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 from September 25 to October 1, 2023, has been brought to an end with immediate effect," a Ryder Cup Europe statement read.

"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."

Stenson's appointment as captain back in March appeared to end speculation about his involvement with the breakaway competition, after insisting he was fully committed to the role.

However, this latest development will come as a major blow to the DP World Tour, of which players must be a member to compete in the Ryder Cup or captain the European side.

Speaking after his appointment as captain in March, Stenson said: "There has been a lot of speculation back and forth.

"Yes, the captain signs a contract. He is the only one who does that. Players and vice-captains don't, but the captain has an agreement and those agreements are between Ryder Cup Europe and the captain.

"I am fully committed to the captaincy, Ryder Cup Europe and the job at hand, so we are going to keep busy with that and I'm going to do everything in my power to deliver a winning team in Rome."

Stenson missed the cut during the recent Open Championship at St Andrews, and admitted his upcoming schedule was "undecided".

A decision regarding Stenson's replacement in the captaincy role is yet to be made, although the European side have a number of options, including Thomas Bjorn who led the side to victory at Le Golf National in Paris back in 2018.

A return to the top job would seem the most straightforward option, with the event just 14 months away.

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