Thursday, December 1 2022

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Henrik Stenson of Sweden hits a shot from the third tee during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 4, 2022 in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

PA

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

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

Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson have also been mentioned as possibilities.

Stenson is the first Swede to captain and faces a big order. Europe suffered their worst defeat at Whistling Straits, 19-9, against an American side loaded with youth, hunger and attitude.

Zach Johnson has been announced as USA captain for the 2023 matches at Marco Simone away from Roma. This will be Italy’s first time hosting the Ryder Cup.

Europe usually 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 set up with backing from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Given the challenge of the European tour, players who had registered in a rival league would lose the Ryder Cup.

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

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