(Reuters) -Former world number one Luke Donald has been named captain of Team Europe for the 2023 Ryder Cup to replace Henrik Stenson, who was stripped of the role before he joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Stenson was removed as captain last month, hours before the Swede announced he was joining the lucrative Saudi-backed series and Englishman Donald later told Golf Week he would love to take over.
“Luke is a former world number one who possesses a superb Ryder Cup record, so he undoubtedly has the credentials required to be a successful European captain,” European Ryder Cup Director Guy Kinnings said in a statement.
“He is hugely respected by the players and by the wider support team at Ryder Cup Europe who have already done an immense amount of work behind the scenes to give him a strong platform for the remaining 14 months before the match gets underway.”
The 44-year-old Donald has never finished on the losing side as a player in four Ryder Cup appearances, winning 10-1/2 points from his 15 matches.
He served as vice-captain when Europe regained the Ryder Cup by beating the United States in 2018.
“So excited and truly honoured to be named European Ryder Cup Captain. I’m really looking forward to the next 14 months and getting my team ready for Rome,” Donald said in a tweet.
Donald added in a statement that both existing vice-captains — Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari — would continue in their respective positions.
“It was essential that Thomas and Edoardo remained part of the team. They were the first two calls I made once I got the nod to be captain and I’m delighted that they are fully on-board,” he said.
Donald previously said he had not been approached to play in the LIV Series, but added he had turned down a broadcast role with the breakaway league.
Stenson won his first start on the LIV Series on Sunday in New Jersey.
The Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome, Italy will host the next edition of the biennial Ryder Cup starting in late September next year.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson/Christian Radnedge/Ken Ferris)