LIV Golf continues to send tremors around the sport, with Henrik Stenson's move to the Saudi-backed golf tour causing huge controversy this week.
While the Swede is not the biggest name to move to the new tour, his status as Ryder Cup captain for 2023 means that his switch is yet another blow to the established order in professional golf. He has now been stripped of that honour.
Stenson released a lengthy statement via social media to address his decision, saying that he would have gladly stayed on as captain for the event next year if he had been allowed to.
— Henrik Stenson (@henrikstenson) July 20, 2022
However, this was never an option for those associated with the Ryder Cup. The tensions between LIV Golf and both the PGA and European have been steadily rising in recent months as players who jump ship have been banned from competing in the established tours.
Padraig Harrington questions Henrik Stenson's LIV Golf move
Padraig Harrington is someone who knows all about the prestige associated with the Ryder Cup, taking part in it six times as a player before captaining Europe in last year's edition at Whistling Straits. He was also part of the committee that chose Stenson for the role this time around.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he questioned the timing of Stenson's move to LIV Golf, saying he should have waited until he had fulfilled his Ryder Cup duties before signing up to the tour.
🗣️ "He could have waited 15 months"
Padraig Harrington says he's disappointed that Henrik Stenson didn't wait until after next year's Ryder Cup to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series. pic.twitter.com/FKNOLQYW8y
— Sky Sports Golf (@SkySportsGolf) July 20, 2022
It is really not going to interfere with the Ryder Cup in any shape or form.
I do wish he had waited 15 months. Everyone has to make the right decision financially for themselves.
It wouldn’t have been any harm as he had signed commitment (with Ryder Cup Europe) to wait those 15 months, the same deal would have been on the table in 15 months’ time.
It is a pity for him to go but 15 months is loads of time to get someone in place.
When Henrik signed up to be Ryder Cup captain, he was one of the main people that would have been touted as going to LIV. He clearly chose the Ryder Cup over LIV because of the risk that LIV wouldn't happen, but now that there is no risk with LIV he has jumped ship.
He could have waited 15 months, let's be honest. I have no problem with him going and taking the money or whatever you want to do, but he signed a deal. Just wait 15 months, do your job and move on then.
It is not only the role of captain that will now need to be changed due to LIV Golf. A number of players who would have been in contention for next year's Ryder Cup teams will now be unable to feature, barring a dramatic change in stance from the PGA and European Tours.
That is certainly a huge blow, with the main selling point of the event being that it pits that very best players from both Europe and the USA against each other.
It certainly looks as though there will be some rocky times ahead in the world of professional golf.