Padraig Harrington has 'no sympathy' for Henrik Stenson after LIV rebel stripped of Ryder Cup captaincy

By Sports Desk July 20, 2022

Padraig Harrington did not mince his words when discussing Henrik Stenson's decision to forfeit his Ryder Cup captaincy by joining LIV Golf, insisting he has "no empathy" for the Swede. 

Stenson is the latest big name to join the controversial circuit, with LIV Golf announcing the 46-year-old former major champion as one of three new recruits on Wednesday along with Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III.

Just four months ago Stenson was awarded Europe's Ryder Cup captaincy ahead of the 2023 edition beginning in Italy next September, taking over the role from Harrington.

But Stenson was removed from the position in anticipation of his choice to join LIV on Wednesday.

When asked how he felt about the Swede's move, Harrington argued Stenson should have honoured his Ryder Cup commitment, while saying he understands why the average professional golfer might make the jump.

"I certainly empathise with anybody that makes the decisions that they have made in terms of going to play a new tour; the financial incentives are quite impressive," he said.

"I do think it's different in Henrik's case, yes. He signed a contract not to do that and was specifically asked not to do that. I have no empathy there. 

"No, he took the Ryder Cup job when LIV was in doubt, and now that LIV is pretty much mainstream normalised, he's jumped ship."

Despite his disappointment, Harrington said Stenson's choice will have no real effect on Europe's Ryder Cup bid, with plenty of time remaining to select a new captain.

"It is 15 months, plenty of time," he said. "No issue as regards the actual team and, like, there's been nothing set in place about the selection processes or qualification processes. 

"Really doesn't affect the Ryder Cup in any shape or form. I'm sure we'll have a new captain installed pretty soon."


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    “Over the last six months we’ve had quite a lot of golf balls sent to us that could have conformed with the MLR so we’ve been able to test and understand how a ball at the fastest clubhead speeds would perform with the different rule,” Slumbers added.

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