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21st Jul 2022

Padraig Harrington questions timing of Henrik Stenson’s LIV Golf move

Robert Redmond

Rory McIlroy

“He could have waited 15 months, let’s be honest.”

Padraig Harrington has questioned the timing of Henrik Stenson’s decision to join the LIV Golf tour, which has resulted in the Swedish golfer being stripped of the Ryder Cup captaincy.

Stenson was due to lead Team Europe at the event in Rome next year.

However, Ryder Cup Europe stripped the 46-year-old of the captaincy on Wednesday after he agreed to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour.

Padraig Harrington Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson stripped of Ryder Cup captaincy.

Stenson said he was ‘disappointed’ to lose the prestigious role, as he wanted to fulfil his Ryder Cup duties and join the LIV Golf tour.

Ryder Cup Europe, however, stripped him of the captaincy ‘with immediate effect.’

“In light of decisions made by Henrik in relation to his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he will not be able to fulfil certain contractual obligations to Ryder Cup Europe,” a statement reads.

“Confirmation of the new 2023 European Ryder Cup Captain will be made in due course.”

Harrington questions the timing of Stenson’s LIV Golf defection.

Harrington, who was Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for the last edition of the tournament in 2021, questioned his successor’s decision.

The Irish golfer was critical of Stenson for not waiting until after the Ryder Cup next year to join the breakaway tour.

According to The Telegraph, Stenson has received $50m for joining LIV Golf.

Padraig Harrington Henrik Stenson

“It is really not going to interfere with the Ryder Cup in any shape or form,” Harrington told Sky Sports.

“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 a 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,” Harrington continued.

“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.”

“I’ve always loved coming to Ireland.”

At the JP McManus Pro-Am, Tiger Woods spoke about why he loves playing golf in Ireland and his favourite courses to play.

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