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Henrik Stenson removed as Europe Ryder Cup captain amid LIV Golf rumours

Henrik Stenson removed as Europe Ryder Cup captain
© Reuters
Team Europe release a statement to confirm that Henrik Stenson has been removed from his position as captain, amid speculation regarding a move to LIV Golf.

Henrik Stenson has been removed from his position as Europe Ryder Cup captain with immediate effect.

In March, it was announced that the Swede had been handed the reins ahead of the 2023 Ryder Cup, which is due to take place in Italy next September.

At the time, the 2016 Open champion acknowledged that leading the team had been 'a dream', and he was in line to go head to head against United States captain Zach Johnson.

However, on Sunday, it was reported by numerous outlets that the 46-year-old had agreed to sign a contract with the controversial LIV Golf Series.

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour have consistently stated that any player who chooses to defect to the Saudi Arabia-backed tour would be banned from playing in the Ryder Cup or becoming a captain in the future.

Several days on from the initial report, Team Europe has now acted by releasing a statement to confirm that Stenson had been removed from his position.

While the decision pre-empts a likely announcement from LIV Golf in the future, losing a player who had occupied that position will be regarded as a huge blow to the established tours.

That is despite Stenson now occupying 171st place in the World Golf Rankings, his only top 10 in 2022 being the leading male player at the mixed Volvo Car Scandinavian event which he hosted alongside legendary female player Annika Sorenstam.

Team Europe will now make a decision regarding a replacement with former world number one Luke Donald potentially in line to fill the position.

With regards to LIV Golf, Stenson is expected to be just one of several high-profile names to make the switch over the coming weeks.

Cameron Smith, who won The Open on Sunday, refused to dismiss suggestions that he would be officially signing with LIV Golf after the Fedex Cup playoffs.

Australia compatriots Adam Scott and Marc Leishman are also expected to become LIV Golf players once they have participated in the Presidents Cup.

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Henrik Stenson in action during day one of the Ryder Cup on September 28, 2018
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