Donald named European Ryder Cup captain

Veteran English golfer replaces Stenson after latter stripped of honour for joining LIV circuit


AFP August 02, 2022

PARIS:

Luke Donald was named on Monday as captain of Europe's 2023 Ryder Cup team, replacing Henrik Stenson who was stripped of the honour last month after joining the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.

Donald, a 44-year-old Englishman, represented Europe in four Ryder Cups as a player. He was part of the winning team each time, including the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012.

He was also a vice-captain in the last two editions of the biennial contest, under Thomas Bjorn in 2018 and Padraig Harrington last year.

"I am incredibly proud to be named European Ryder Cup captain for 2023," said the former world number one.

"It is truly one of the greatest honours that can be bestowed upon a golfer, to lead a team of your peers and be an ambassador for an entire continent.

"I feel extremely privileged to have been given that responsibility and it is a responsibility I do not take lightly."

The USA hold the Ryder Cup following their comfortable 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin last year.

The 2023 competition will be held in Guidonia, just outside Rome, in 2023, the first time the cup will have been contested in Italy.

"Some of my best experiences in golf have been in the Ryder Cup and I would not swap those for anything," said Donald.

"It is an event like no other and I cannot wait to create more special memories in Italy next year.

"I love everything the Ryder Cup embodies, from the camaraderie and companionship of being part of a team, to the history of the contest, but most of all playing for something bigger than yourself.

"Rome will be a fantastic host city. It is a city rich in history and hopefully we can create some of our own in 14 months' time."

Stenson, 46, was sacked as captain after signing with the breakaway LIV circuit, which has drawn criticism from human rights activists concerned about Saudi Arabia's record.

The circuit has additionally provoked the wrath of the established DP World Tour and US PGA Tours as it lures players with massive purses and reportedly, in some cases, with signing bonuses worth tens of millions.

Stenson bounced back from the disappointment of losing the captaincy by winning his first tournament on the breakaway tour on Sunday.

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