Ryder Cup 2023: Luke Donald named as Henrik Stenson’s successor to captain Team Europe in Italy | Golf News


Donald represented Team Europe in 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2012 – all winning teams – before twice serving as a vice-captain; The Englishman replaces Henrik Stenson, who was removed as captain after joining the LIV Golf Invitational Series

Last Updated: 01/08/22 2:56pm

Luke Donald will captain Team Europe in the 2023 Ryder Cup

Luke Donald has been confirmed as Henrik Stenson’s replacement to captain Europe’s 2023 Ryder Cup team in Italy.

Stenson was initially appointed Ryder Cup captain in March, only to be stripped of the role last month after electing to join several of his former Ryder Cup teammates in signing up for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Donald has featured in four winning Ryder Cup teams and served as a vice-captain for the last two editions of the biennial contest, with the former world No 1 now given the task of trying to regain the trophy for Europe on home soil.

“So excited and truly honored to be named European Ryder Cup captain,” Donald tweeted. “I’m really looking forward to the next 14 months and getting my team ready for Rome.”

Marco Simone Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of Rome will host the event from September 29-October 1 next year, live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Ryder Cup channel, where Europe will be looking to avenge their record-breaking 19-9 loss at Whistling Straits in 2020.

Why was Stenson sacked?

Stenson was appointed Ryder Cup captain on March 15, but the Swede’s tenure lasted just 127 days before his decision to join LIV Golf meant he was removed from the role with immediate effect.

Henrik Stenson says he made every arrangement to keep his Ryder Cup captaincy, before he was stripped of it ahead of joining the LIV Golf series

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Henrik Stenson says he made every arrangement to keep his Ryder Cup captaincy, before he was stripped of it ahead of joining the LIV Golf series

Henrik Stenson says he made every arrangement to keep his Ryder Cup captaincy, before he was stripped of it ahead of joining the LIV Golf series

The 2016 Open champion had hoped to be able to continue in the position while still playing in LIV events, but a meeting with Ryder Cup Europe officials made it clear that was not acceptable.

Ryder Cup Europe said in a statement last month: “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, and it is therefore not possible for him to continue in the role of Captain.”

Padraig Harrington says he's disappointed that Henrik Stenson didn't wait until after next year's Ryder Cup to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series

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Padraig Harrington says he’s disappointed that Henrik Stenson didn’t wait until after next year’s Ryder Cup to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series

Padraig Harrington says he’s disappointed that Henrik Stenson didn’t wait until after next year’s Ryder Cup to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series

Stenson then made a light-hearted dig at his dismissal after making a winning start to his LIV Golf career in Bedminsterjoking that he “played like a captain” when interviewed after his victory.

Who else was under consideration?

Thomas Bjorn had already been appointed as one of Stenson’s vice-captains, having led Europe to victory in impressive fashion at Le Golf National in 2018.

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood say they are unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status however they haven't received any correspondence to the contrary

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Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood say they are unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status however they haven’t received any correspondence to the contrary

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood say they are unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status however they haven’t received any correspondence to the contrary

Scotland’s Paul Lawrie said on social media last month his name had ‘never been out of the hat’ for captaincy consideration and told Sky Sports News: “I remain committed to the Tour and would still like nothing more than to be the next Ryder Cup captain. Given the opportunity, I would see it as one of the highlights of my career”.

Edoardo Molinari was already a confirmed member of Stenson’s backroom staff, ahead of the Ryder Cup heading to Italy for the first time, while Robert Karlsson was another possibility having served as a vice-captain for the previous two European teams.

Zach Johnson is the United States’ captain for their defense, succeeding Steve Stricker in the role, with the two-time major winner already confirming that American players competing in the LIV Golf series will not be eligible to represent Team USA.

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