Ryder Cup: Europe in safe hands with Henrik Stenson at helm

It’s a choice that no-one can really have any arguments over. Henrik Stenson, after all, had been the obvious candidate to become Europe’s new Ryder Cup captain as soon as Lee Westwood ruled himself out of the reckoning for the 2023 match in Italy.

The picture only became a bit blurred due to the Swede being linked to the Saudi Super League and little being said, at least in public, about that by him in recent weeks.

But, having obviously decided to reject the chance to join Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed breakaway circuit, the 2016 Open champion cleared any obstacles standing in the way of his popular appointment.

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In terms of Ryder Cup experience and stature, Stenson is the correct choice, having played in the event five times, three of which were on triumphant teams, including the thrill of holing the winning putt at The K Club on his debut in 2006.

European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson. Picture: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images.European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson. Picture: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images.
European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson. Picture: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images.

The 45-year-old has a dry sense of humour, meaning the home team room in Italy will be filled with laughter, but don’t be fooled by that boyish smile.

The Ice Man is a fierce competitor and, though an assistant captain rather than a player on that occasion, he’ll still be hurting from Europe’s record 19-9 hammering at Whistling Straits last September.

Stenson’s side will definitely include Norway’s Viktor Hovland and possibly Denmark’s Hojgaard twins - Nicolai and Rasmus - as well.

They’ll all connect instantly with the new captain due to their geographical backgrounds and, though certain to be the underdogs on this occasion, well done to Team Europe for getting the first part of the job of claiming back the Ryder Cup right.

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