Henrik Stenson has been named Europe’s captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup and the Swede says he’s delighted to take the position and is looking forward to the next 18 months
Henrik Stenson has been confirmed as Europe’s captain for the Ryder Cup in 2023.
The 45-year-old Swede made five Ryder Cup appearances as a player, including during Europe’s victory at Le Golf National in 2018.
Stenson succeeds Padraig Harrington, who he assisted during last year’s record-breaking loss in Wisconsin.
Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy will host the biennial event from September 29-October 1 next year, live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Ryder Cup channel, where Europe will be desperate to regain the trophy after their 19-9 reverse at Whistling Straits.
“I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to be the European Ryder Cup captain – it is a huge honour and I was humbled to get the call confirming the news,” Stenson said.
“I would like to thank the selection panel for believing in me and will say to them, and every European golf fan, that I will do everything in my power and leave no stone unturned in the quest to get the Ryder Cup back in European hands.
“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.
Stenson took a frustrating week at the 2021 PGA Championship out on one of his irons, nonchalantly snapping it after another wayward shot
“While it is great for me personally, it is also great for my country and all the players from Sweden who have played for Europe with such distinction since Joakim Haeggman became the first in 1993.
“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.”
Stenson was selected as Europe’s captain by a five-man selection panel comprising of the three most recent captains – Padraig Harrington, Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke – as well as chief executive of the European Tour group, Keith Pelley, and DP World Tour Committee chairman David Howell.
Europe have not lost a Ryder Cup on home soil since a 15-13 defeat at The Belfry in 1993.
Zach Johnson was confirmed as the United States’ captain last month, with his predecessor Steve Stricker as vice-captain.
Stenson’s Ryder Cup record
Stenson helped Europe to victory in three of his five Ryder Cup appearances as a player, amassing 11 points from 19 matches.
That included a 100 per cent record in 2018, where he partnered Justin Rose to foursomes victories over Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson on the Friday, and Johnson and Brooks Koepka on the Saturday, before signing off with a 5&4 success against Bubba Watson on the Sunday.
Stenson made his Ryder Cup debut in 2006, securing the winning point as Europe claimed an 18.5-9.5 victory at The K Club in Ireland.
He was also a member of the victorious 2014 team at Gleneagles and the European sides that lost on American soil in 2008 and 2016.
Stenson rescues a young golf fans’ football from the sea at the 2021 Saudi International, where he attempted some keep-ups before returning it
Stenson became Sweden’s first male major winner when he triumphed at the 2016 Open, edging a thrilling battle with Phil Mickelson, while he has won 17 titles worldwide.
European Ryder Cup director Guy Kinnings believes Stenson’s credentials fit the bill.
“Henrik has all the qualities to be a great captain,” he said.
“He has an incredibly impressive golfing CV as a major champion, two-time European number one and FedEx Cup winner, and in the Ryder Cup he played five times and played with distinction, including holing the winning putt in 2006 at the K Club.
“So he comes with all the credibility of what he has achieved, and as we all know a dry a sense of humour and a fantastic warm personality, but he is also a ferocious competitor.
“He is hugely respected by the players and admired by everyone involved with the game and the Ryder Cup.”
Stenson drains a monster eagle at the 2020 US open
‘Europe needed a big charismatic character’
Sky Sports News’ Jamie Weir…
Henrik Stenson’s appointment will be a surprise to a few people who thought Luke Donald was a shoo-in and had this in the bag.
It came as a bit leftfield to me as well for a few reasons. Mainly because of Donald but also because I still thought Stenson was somebody who could be a player on the next Ryder Cup team. His form hasn’t been great of late but he’s still only 45 years old. You saw Paul Casey, who is a year younger, almost win the Players Championship.
Speak to anybody who has been on any of the five Ryder Cup teams that Stenson was on and they’ll tell you he was the life and soul of the team room. He’s the one that gets everyone together, has a tremendously dry sense of humour, is so popular with his peers and also with the media as well. He’ll do a great job from that point of view.
After the disaster of Whistling Straits, Europe needed a big charismatic character to galvanise the team. They’re going to be up against it in Italy next year. The US haven’t won a Ryder Cup on European soil for 30 years but this American team is a different breed.
Where Europe always had a perceived advantage over the USA in the past is they were so much more of a team. All the players got on so well whereas the Americans were basically 12 individuals who pitched up for the week, played golf but didn’t really care about the result.
This generation of American players have grown up together – the likes of Justin Thomas and Jordan Speith are best pals – and they play for each other now. We saw that at Whistling Straits. That’s quite scary from a European point of view.
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