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Henrik Stenson has been stripped of his European Ryder Cup captaincy in advance of an expected move to the breakaway LIV Golf tour. Ryder Cup Europe announced the move, "with immediate effect," on Wednesday morning.
"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," Ryder Cup Europe said in a statement, "and it is therefore not possible for him to continue in the role of captain."
Ryder Cup Europe indicated that a replacement would be named "in due course." Potential candidates include 2018 captain Thomas Bjorn, who guided Europe to a dominating win in France, and former world No. 1 Luke Donald.
Stenson confirmed via Twitter that he is in fact joining the LIV tour:
The Ryder Cup captaincy is one of the most treasured career recognitions in men's professional golf. The European side, in particular, has a lengthy, multi-year vetting process designed to identify and honor players most capable of leading Europe.
LIV, which offers substantial purses for 54-hole, no-cut events, has added numerous Ryder Cup players past and present to its roster. On the European side, other players now with LIV include Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, all of whom had been mentioned as potential future captains. LIV's rapid growth has resulted in the PGA and DP World (formerly European) tours levying a range of punishments, including suspensions, to punish players who make the jump to the upstart tour.
Stenson, the 2016 Open Champion, has played in five Ryder Cups. He missed the cut at this year's Open Championship at St. Andrews. Stenson was vague about his future plans as speculation of a jump to LIV swirled around him and other players, including current champion Cam Smith.
The 2023 Ryder Cup is scheduled to take place at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, 2023. LIV Golf's next event is scheduled for next week at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Contact Jay Busbee at email@example.com or on Twitter at @jaybusbee.