Henrik Stenson is Europe’s next choice to be Ryder Cup captain for the 2023 matches in Italy with an announcement Tuesday indicating the Swede has decided not to join a Saudi-funded rival league.

Stenson was a logical choice for Europe. A former British Open champion, he has played on five teams and served as vice captain last September at Whistling Straits.

Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson also were mentioned as possibilities.

Stenson is the first Swede to be captain and faces a big order. Europe suffered its worst loss ever at Whistling Straits, 19-9, to an American team loaded with youth, hunger and attitude.

Zach Johnson was announced as the U.S. captain for the 2023 matches at Marco Simone outside Rome. It will be Italy’s first time hosting the Ryder Cup.

Europe typically announces its captain in January. Stenson, however, was among those mentioned as being tempted by a “Super Golf League” that Greg Norman is trying to put together backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Given the challenge to the European tour, players who signed up for a rival league would lose out on the Ryder Cup.

“The Ryder Cup is golf, and sport, at its very best,” Stenson said.


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