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Bjorn and Molinari head five-man Ryder Cup captaincy shortlist after Henrik Stenson was SACKED

Luke Donald, Robert Karlsson, Paul Lawrie, Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari top the five-man Ryder Cup captaincy after Henrik Stenson was PLACED for receiving £40m entry fee to take part in golf’s Saudi rebel tour

A five-way race for the European Ryder Cup captain is developing after Henrik Stenson was stripped of the role on Wednesday.

In one of the most dramatic sagas in Ryder Cup history, Stenson is believed to have breached the contract he only signed in March by joining the Saudi-backed LIV series.

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and European Ryder Cup director Guy Kinnings had tried to talk Stenson off the switch on Tuesday, but decided with the 46-year-old to accept an offer north of £30million from Greg Norman’s breakaway group. accept, those attempts have failed. Stenson is expected to be announced as a LIV player on Thursday.

With only 14 months left until the game against the US in Rome, Europe is now frantically considering replacements. Sportsmail understands that the shortlist includes Cup veterans Luke Donald, Robert Karlsson and Paul Lawrie, who were all in the running when Stenson was selected.

The list also includes Stenson’s vice-captains Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari, although the latter is considered less likely based on Cup experience. Bjorn, the 2018 winning captain, is known for having a number of backers, just like Donald.

The situation around Stenson has been circulating in the wave for months, including around the time of his appointment, which he described as a ‘dream come true’.

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That he has now joined the gold rush to the LIV series ranks as a seismic disruption in a string of many that has hit the sport since its inception.

Stamping Stenson’s departure, Ryder Cup Europe said in a statement that they confirm ‘Henrik Stenson’s tenure as Team Europe captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy, has ended with immediate effect. . effect.

“In light of the decisions Henrik has made regarding his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he will not be able to fulfill certain contractual obligations to Ryder Cup Europe that he had pledged prior to his announcement as captain. on Tuesday, March 15. 2022, and thus it is not possible for him to continue in the role of captain.

“The confirmation of the new European Ryder Cup captain for 2023 will be confirmed in due course.”

Sports post understands that no announcement about the new captain will be made soon, although a decision could be made next week.

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