Ryder Cup: Henrik Stenson "signed contract" over Saudi threat

Henrik Stenson Ryder Cup

New Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson revealed he “signed a contract” when he took the job, preventing him from joining a rumoured breakaway competition.

The Swede’s future had been the subject of speculation after it emerged he was one of a number of big-name players approached in connection with the Saudi-backed venture.

Huge sums were reportedly offered to players in exchange for joining the “super league” - but anyone who did so would have been banned from competing in the Ryder Cup.

• Stenson named Ryder Cup captain

After he was unveiled as the man who will lead Europe in Italy next year, the 45-year-old revealed he had signed a binding agreement with Ryder Cup Europe committing him to the position and halting any prospect of him joining a new circuit.

"The captains do sign a contract,” Stenson said.

“He’s the only one that does that – players and vice-captains don’t but the captain has an agreement and those agreements are between Ryder Cup Europe and the captain.

“I am fully committed to my role as a captain and working hard towards the result we want in Rome.

• Ian Poulter facing Ryder Cup ban

“There has been a lot of speculation back and forth and I am fully committed to the captaincy, Ryder Cup Europe and the job at hand.

“We are going to keep busy with that and I’m going to do everything in my power to deliver a winning team in Rome.”

American captain Zach Johnson has already begun the process of picking his staff for Rome, bringing back 2021 skipper Steve Stricker as a vice-captain and confirming he will stick with the same qualification procedure. 

But Stenson is in no rush to follow suit. 

"It’s two different timelines,” he said. “The American side have started their qualification process already.  

• Zach Johnson named US Ryder Cup captain

“Ours will start later so we have got time to decide exactly how the qualification process is going to look and how many wildcards we will have and so on. 

“He needs to be quicker out of the blocks due to their timeline. 

“The same goes for vice-captains. I will have time to assemble my team.” 

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