There’s no doubt in Henrik Stenson’s mind that he could’ve led Europe in Rome later this year, but his move to LIV Golf proved a step too far for Team Europe and the DP World Tour
Henrik Stenson has never hidden his disappointment at being sacked as Ryder Cup captain.
The Swede told the New York Post his removal “could’ve been avoided” if he’d been able to talk with Ryder Cup Europe and the DP World Tour.
Stenson was stripped of his captaincy a year ago after joining LIV Golf and replaced by Luke Donald. But he said fulfilling his role while playing on the breakaway LIV Tour wouldn’t have been an issue.
“I’m just disappointed that with everything that came out, because there was a big willingness on my part to sit down and talk long before this thing got to where it got to,” he said.
“That’s my disappointment – that there were certain people, without naming names, that didn’t want to sit down and take those meetings.
“And, as a consequence, I feel like we ended up in all of this that could have been avoided. But we live and we learn.
“I knew I could have fulfilled my obligations as captain, but clearly the DP World Tour and Ryder Cup Europe didn’t see it that way, and that’s why they made that decision,” he added. “I’ll look forward and not backward.”
Stenson said he was “left with no other choice” but to give up his playing rights in Europe, and described the period around losing the captaincy as “difficult times.”
Having just played at The Open, an event he won in 2016, Stenson tied 13th alongside Viktor Hovland – a player he would have led at Marco Simone in September.
The 47-year-old said “he’s sitting tight” to see what the future could hold for the Ryder Cup now that the PGA Tour, the Public Investment Fund, and the DP World Tour have entered into an alliance.
But, after being fined for joining the Saudi-backed circuit, Stenson resigned from the DP World Tour – along with other Ryder Cup stalwarts Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Sergio Garcia.
Once considered nailed-on captains for future matches, their involvement in the biennial bash with America is now doubtful.
“I’ve played in five Ryder Cups and was vice-captain in one and there’s always going to be some great memories from the camaraderie, and some of those camaraderies are still there.
“I’m not alone in this. The guys that I would have had as my vice captains, we kind of all ended up in the same boat.”
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