You can add Henrik Stenson to the long list of former PGA professionals to have joined LIV Golf. This move will cost Stenson his Ryder Cup captaincy.
The list just keeps getting longer. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is the latest defector to leave the PGA Tour and join LIV Golf. However, Stenson’s desertion comes with an additional blow as he’ll forfeit his captaincy for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Stenson was selected as Europe’s 2023 Ryder Cup captain. The event will be held in late-September next year, but Stenson will not be leading the charge for the Europeans.
Henrik Stenson deserts PGA for LIV Golf and loses Ryder Cup captaincy.
Stenson won the Open Championship in 2016 at Royal Troon; his first and only major championship. Stenson has a Top 5 finish in every major championship including two third-place finishes as the PGA Championship.
Stenson has six PGA Tour wins and has won 11 times on the European Tour. He was elevated all the way to No. 2 in the World Golf rankings back in back in 2014, trailing only former world’s No. 1 Adam Scott.
Stenson is not alone in forfeiting the ability to captain the European Ryder Cup team. Lee Westwood turned down the captain’s job before it was offered to Stenson. Westwood, having joined LIV Golf, would not be eligible for that role anymore. Neither would fellow longtime Ryder Cup participant Ian Poulter.
American golfers Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Kevin Na, Talor Gooch, and Patrick Reed have all joined LIV Golf over the last couple of months, leaving their participation in the Ryder Cup up in the air as well.
Greg Norman’s upstart tour has put on two events so far and the LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster will take place at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. Charl Schwartzel won the inaugural event overseas in London and Brendan Grace took home $4M after winning LIV Golf’s second event at Pumpkin Ridge earlier this month.
There’s been a lot of debate recently about whether or not those golfers who chose to join LIV Golf will be able to participate at major championships in the future. I guess we’ll have to wait until next year’s Masters Tournament to find out the answer.