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    Stenson not giving up on Ryder Cup, defends LIV move

    NEW YORK (AFP) – Henrik Stenson said on Thursday he had not given up hope of playing in the Ryder Cup in future despite being sacked as Europe captain following his decision to sign with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit.

    Speaking on the eve of his LIV Golf debut at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey, Stenson said he had “made every arrangement” to continue as Europe skipper after agreeing to join the lucrative new series.

    The 46-year-old major champion was promptly fired as Europe captain last week after confirmation he had joined LIV.

    “I made every arrangement possible to be able to fulfill my captain’s duties, and I’ve had great help here from LIV to be able to do that,” Stenson said.

    “And still, the decision was made that I was to be removed. I’m obviously disappointed over the situation.

    “But it is what it is, we move on from there now.”

    Henrik Stenson of Majestics GC. PHOTO: AFP

    Reports in Britain on Thursday said Luke Donald was being lined up to replace Stenson as captain, with an announcement expected next week. Stenson said on Thursday he was unaware Donald had been linked with the job.

    “That’s news to me,” Stenson said. “Obviously I’m not in the loop on these things at this point.

    “I don’t feel like I should comment on that until that’s official news if that were to be the case.”

    In March, Stenson had described being chosen for the Ryder Cup captaincy as a “huge honour”, describing his appointment as a “dream come true.”

    However his decision to join LIV in a deal worth an estimated USD48 million has triggered speculation about the future viability of the Ryder Cup.

    A slew of top United States and Europe Ryder Cup stars have already defected to LIV, a move that effectively bars them from selection for the biennial team tournament.

    Despite the bitter current climate in world golf, Stenson said he hoped the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV would eventually broker an agreement that allowed the rival circuits to co-exist, safeguarding the Ryder Cup.

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