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Report: Henrik Stenson to Join LIV Golf, Be Stripped of Ryder Cup Captaincy

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 17, 2022

PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

LIV Golf is reportedly set to add another notable player following the conclusion of The Open Championship on Sunday.

Jamie Weir of Sky Sports reported Henrik Stenson, who missed the cut in the final major of the year, is expected to join LIV. As a result, the Swedish golfer will lose his Ryder Cup captaincy.

Stenson was named the European Captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup in March and became the first Swede to be elevated to such a position in the process.

The golfer, who also became the first male major champion from his country when he won The Open Championship in 2016, helped lead Europe to three wins in five Ryder Cup appearances as a player and was vice captain in 2020.

He opened up about what the honor meant when he was named captain:

"The Ryder Cup is golf, and sport, at its very best. I got goosebumps every time I pulled on a European shirt as a player and that will be magnified in the role of Captain. ... When I started out as a professional golfer, it was beyond my wildest dreams that, one day, I would follow in the footsteps of legends of the game such as Seve and be the European Ryder Cup Captain. But today proves that, sometimes, dreams do come true."

Alas, that dream is apparently gone as he reportedly turns toward the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV league.

The tour, which has been criticized as an effort by Saudi Arabia to sportswash its human rights violations, has been the biggest storyline in the golf world this year as a number of notable players have departed from the PGA Tour to compete for the head-turning purses.

"Should it be true, he will join fellow European Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell, all of whom would have been strong contenders for the captaincy in the coming years," Mark Townsend of Golf Monthly wrote.

It is not just notable Europeans who have joined, though, as Americans such as Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson are among those who have departed the PGA Tour for LIV.

The 2023 Ryder Cup will take place in Italy from September 25-October 1, 2023.

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