Let’s not kid ourselves. Henrik Stenson hasn’t played world-class-level professional golf going on 2+ seasons. Not on the PGA TOUR. And definitely not in the Majors. Yet, LIV GOLF and the Saudi Investment Fund offered him such a lucrative comp package that he walked away from his duties as the 2023 European Ryder Cup captain. He claims he fought for his job on the way out, but he knew damn well that when he made his soul short-sale to join LIV that he was forcing the decision makers’ hands to dump him. He picked LIV over LEGACY.
Being named captain was an honor he raved about during his press conference earlier this year:
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. 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.
Well, you can say he came up short “leaving no stone unturned” in his quest to help Europe win back the cup in Rome.
The timing of the announcement of Henrik’s money grab ensured the PGA TOUR and the DPWT were blindsided and embarrassed the week after an incredibly memorable Open Championship. The event was played out at the Home of Golf, adjacent to the headquarters of the R&A in St. Andrews.
Thanks Greg Norman. You slimy ass mother fukcer. Petty dick move.
Henrik now won’t even receive a pair of free tickets to the event– but he certainly can watch it from his super yacht or small island paid for by SIF. What a sad turn of events.
With Henrik now out of the picture, who will the powers that be select to captain the 2023 European Ryder Cup team?
Let’s start with who won’t be selected:
- Graeme McDowell – He would have made a great captain–and deserving of the selection–if he hadn’t been part of the first wave of talking LIV heads who played in Portland – OUT
- Martin Kaymer – The German has performed Ryder Cup magic in years past, has won two majors, and like Stenson and McDowell won’t be receiving free passes to this year’s event. LIV recruit right out of the gate – OUT
- Lee Westwood – Even though he has won more than $65,000,000 in career PGA TOUR and DP World Tour earnings, he jumped to LIV. We aren’t surprised. His primary legacy is that he made a ton of money but never won a major because of a temperamental flatstic.k. What’s really sad here is that he was a shoe-in to captain some day – OUT
- Paul Casey – He hasn’t always got along with the DP World/European Tour and their requirements to be selected/qualify for Ryder Cups in the past, having missed out on a few turns because he failed to maintain his TOUR membership when jumping over to the PGA TOUR. For nearly a decade he was stuck in professional golf purgatory for Ryder Cup wannabees. Another LIV casualty. He is very much liked by his peers and would have been a great captain–and interview–in the future – OUT
- Sergio Garcia – Dick – LIV – OUT
- Ian Poulter – Mr. Ryder Cup. Those pants. That hair. His love for English football and Arsenal. Unquestionably would have someday been named captain. Unquestionably would have been a heralded and likely successful selection. Unquestionably will never, ever have the chance to captain the European team. But, he will have some meaty top 25 LIV finishes over the next 2-3 years and then be cast off because of poor performance. He’ll go on to write a book or commentate LIV events alongside fellow Brit David Feherty – OUT
Now that we have that part settled, who’s left for Europe and what are their odds to be selected captain?
7. Past captains who actually could still captain if they had it in them to commit to the time and energy required: Colin Montgomerie, Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke. Odds: 250-to-1
6. Recent past captains whose names have come up in the media as possible Stenson replacements: Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington. Both would be ideal savior selections to captain once again, but they are long shots at best. Odds: 100-to-1
5. The old guys who’ve never captained: Sandy Lyle (played in 5 Cups), Miguel Angel Jimenez (played in 3 Cups). Odds: 90-to-1
4. Playing captain option: Rory McIlroy (played in 6 Cups, will play in 6-8 more): 40-to-1
3. Potential surprise selection with experience, current generation: Francisco Molinari (played in 3 Cups), Justin Rose (played in 5 Cups). Odds: 25-to-1
2. Strong consideration: Robert Karlsson (played in 2 Cups), Paul Lawrie (played in 2 Cups). Odds: 6-to-1
1. Likely selection: Luke Donald (played in 4 Cups; 10-4-1 record). This is almost a no-brainer. We’d be shocked if he hasn’t already been asked to lead the troops. And now it’s up to him to decide whether he wants to deal with the even more so-amped media melee that comes with being a Ryder Cup captain dealing with a PR shit storm. He has the experience. Been on winning sides. Is level-headed, well-liked, albeit quiet, Northwestern-educated (smart), ex #1 player in the world. Odds: 2-to-1