[IMAGE: Andrew Redington]

Henrik Stenson confirmed in a statement that he is defecting to LIV Golf following Wednesday’s announcement that he had been stripped of his European Ryder Cup captaincy, while claiming he made efforts to keep the honorary role.

Stenson, who had long been rumoured as a possible LIV Golf signee, originally distaned himself from the fledgling circuit earlier this year amid fallout from Phil Mickelson’s controversial quotes about the Saudi-backed group. When named head of the 2023 European Ryder Cup team in March the 2016 Open champ made multiple assurances in his introductory press conference that he would not jump leagues.

However, Stenson lost his captaincy Wednesday amid reports he is the latest to join LIV Golf. On social media Stenson stated he will be playing in the next LIV Golf event in New Jersey, yet said he believed he could remain in his Ryder Cup position.

“As many of you will have already seen, unfortunately my decision to play in LIV events has triggered Ryder Cup Europe to communicate that it is not possible for me to continue in my role as Ryder Cup captain,” Stenson wrote. “This is despite me making specific arrangements with LIV Golf, who has been supportive of my role as captain, to ensure I could fulfill the obligations of the captaincy. While I disagree with this decision for now it is a decision that I accept.”

The DP World Tour and PGA of America have consistently indicated those who move to LIV Golf won’t be allowed to participate in the Ryder Cup. With five of the 12 members of the 2021 European Ryder Cup going to LIV along with Stenson there is worry about what could happen to the biennial event.

Later in his statement, Stenson noted the concern as a “shame” and made a plea for the governing bodies to reverse their decision.