Any concerns about whether or not Luke Donald is the right man to captain Europe at next year’s Ryder Cup have been blown out of the water.
Donald, who is expected to be named as Henrik Stenson’s replacement for the 2023 matches in Rome early next week, has pledged his “complete loyalty” should his continent come calling – and took the opportunity to make a sly dig at his Swedish counterpart, who was sacked from the role after just 128 days after deciding to take the LIV Golf payday.
Donald – also offered a contract by Greg Norman, but as a TV analyst rather than as a player – told Golfweek: “If I got this captaincy I would live up to my word and see it through.
“Let me put it that way, I wouldn’t be doing a Henrik.”
In Stenson’s somewhat strange first press conference as a LIV Golf player – and first interview since his dismissal by Ryder Cup Europe – he said he “made every arrangement possible to be able to fulfil my captain’s duties”.
But there were stipulations in his contract saying he could not join a rival golf tour while in the role as Ryder Cup captain, and Donald will have the same commitments in his deal.
“I was surprised that [Stenson] would put his name forward if his plan was to go to LIV,” Donald added. “I hate to talk about rumours, but rumours are that he’d been in contact with the rival tours, whatever they were, and he was very interested.
“And I think everyone knew that, the European Tour knew that. They obviously took his word that he wasn’t going to do it. We all have to sign a clause or contract saying that we won’t have anything to do with [LIV]. I’m disappointed I guess that he would put his name forward and then go to LIV. I understand certain guys going to LIV, in certain situations in their careers and stuff, that makes sense. But [the Ryder Cup captaincy] is obviously something big to give up.
“I’ve had some of my best moments in golf in the Ryder Cup. What an amazing honour it is to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup.
“I would love to be a captain.”
On his offer to join LIV Golf’s punditry team, the former World No 1 said he “turned that down pretty quickly”.
He added: “[It was] a little bit of a slight on my game. I know I haven’t played that great, so thanks but no thanks.”
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