Henrik Stenson was named the fifth and final vice captain for Team Europe heading into the Ryder Cup clash with a US contingent, captain Padraig Harrington announced yesterday. Stenson has competed in three straight Ryder Cups and five total, but was not one of the captain’s picks in 2021.
The 45-year-old Swede joins countryman Robert Karlsson, Englishman Luke Donald, Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland as vice captains.
“It’s a great honour to get the call and to be involved with Team Europe,” Stenson said. “I’ve been part of five Ryder Cup teams in the past and to be given the opportunity as a vice captain to help Europe’s quest to retain the Ryder Cup is exciting. Padraig called me on Monday morning and it was not a long conversation. I accepted straight away and I assured him that myself, along with the other vice captains, are there to help and assist him and the team in any way we can.”
Harrington said Stenson’s experience and personality will go along way toward aiding the team.
“Henrik will bring so much to the week in all aspects both on and off the course. His playing record speaks for itself and he has the full respect and confidence of all the players. He knows what it takes to win a Ryder Cup and that experience and knowledge will be crucial for us,” Harrington said.
“Everyone is aware that the Ryder Cup can be a tense week at times too so Henrik’s renowned wit and sense of fun will benefit our team room immensely. It will also be helpful to have the cool head of the ‘Ice Man’ around should any stressful situation emerge.”
Team Europe won the last Ryder Cup, 17 1/2 to 10 1/2, in 2018 at Le Golf National in Paris. The delayed 2020 Ryder Cup will be held Sept. 24-26 on American turf again in rural Wisconsin, along the shore of Lake Michigan.
DeChambeau ‘wrecked’ hands following intense training
Bryson DeChambeau said his hands are “wrecked” with calluses following training for both the Ryder Cup and the Professional Long Drivers Association World Championship. DeChambeau, who turns 28 today, admitted as much after testing his mettle in his version of “two-a-days” — a pair of 90-plus-minute speed training sessions — in Newton Grove, NC.
“My hands are wrecked from it,” DeChambeau said. “People don’t realize how difficult long drive really is. In golf, it’s the one thing where you can judge your accomplishments by a number. Not necessarily by going out and playing golf, because you can catch a sprinkler head or catch a bad break or bad wind. On FlightScope, you can see the ball speed number, and when you obtain a ball speed number, it’s so different and unique. It’s like a shot-putter shot-putting a new record number. You’re trying to find that full potential to break through.”
While the calluses aren’t a good reward for his efforts, DeChambeau believes they are a necessary byproduct as he prepares for both events. “I do it every week,” he said. “Is it daunting? Hell yeah. At first, when I was trying to do it last year, it was very scary. But now that I’ve been through it and experienced the worst pains from it, and the most relaxed state of it where I’m not doing any speed training, I know how to kind of balance it for the most part. Why not go hard at life and do both?”
The Ryder Cup will be held Sept 24-26 at Whistling Straights in Wisconsin. The Professional Long Drivers Association World Championship will be contested Sept 28 in Mesquite, Nevada.
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