Five possible contenders to replace sacked Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson

Five Possible Contenders To Replace Sacked Ryder Cup Captain Henrik Stenson Five Possible Contenders To Replace Sacked Ryder Cup Captain Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson in action, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Andy Hampson, PA

Team Europe will need a new captain for next year’s Ryder Cup in Rome after Henrik Stenson was stripped of the role amid reports linking him with the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.

Here, the PA news agency looks at possible contenders to replace the Swede.

Thomas Bjorn

Bjorn oversaw the 2018 win in Paris (David Davies/PA)

The experienced Dane could slip seamlessly into the role having done it as recently as 2018, when he inspired Europe to their brilliant victory in Paris. He had been due to serve the team again as a vice-captain and indeed was the first deputy to be appointed by Stenson for the 2023 event. Has reportedly taken quite a strong line against LIV rebels.

Luke Donald

Donald (pictured) had been a leading contender before Stenson’s appointment (Steven Paston/PA)

The former world number one played in four Ryder Cups between 2004 and 2012 and did not finish on the losing side. He had been one of the initial favourites for the job before the European Tour opted for Stenson. He expressed his disappointment at the time but could now find himself in the position after all.

Paul Lawrie


Paul Lawrie remains interested in the job and is the early second-favourite (Richard Sellers/PA)

Former Open champion Paul Lawrie was also a contender for the job which Stenson ultimately got. The Scot, a two-time Ryder Cup team member and one-time winner, remains interested in taking the role and in response to a question on Twitter about reapplying, he responded “My name has never been out of the hat”.

Robert Karlsson

Karlsson (right) played alongside Stenson in the 2006 match (PA Archive)

Stenson’s compatriot was another of the leading contenders to succeed the 2021 skipper Padraig Harrington. He has twice experienced playing in the event in 2006 and 2008 and served as a vice-captain in the last two matches.

Edoardo Molinari

Molinari had been due to serve as one of Stenson’s vice-captains (Jane Barlow/PA)

An outside bet but, as an Italian, one who would be a popular choice with the home fans. The brother of 2018 star player Francesco Molinari, the 41-year-old was a member of the victorious side at Celtic Manor in 2010. He had also been appointed as a vice-captain.

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