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Henrik Stenson Headlines Latest Group Of Players To Join LIV Golf

Stenson, currently No. 171 in the Official World Golf Rankings, was stripped of his captaincy for Team Europe at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Henrik Stenson LIV Golf
Photo: Getty Images

With the LIV Golf Invitational Series set to host its next event on July 29 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, three more PGA Tour players joined the Saudi-backed tour on Wednesday. Most notably, Henrik Stenson, who had been named captain for Team Europe in the upcoming 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, was confirmed to have joined LIV Golf.

Stenson’s decision, which is rumored to have been for a multi-year contract worth as much as $40 million, also led to the European Ryder Cup team stripping him of his captaincy.

“In light of decisions made by Henrik in relation to his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he will not be able to fulfill certain contractual obligations to Ryder Cup Europe that he had committed to prior to his announcement as captain on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, and it is therefore not possible for him to continue in the role of captain,” read the statement from Ryder Cup Europe on Wednesday.

Stenson himself also took to Twitter on Wednesday, mentioning that he had been working with LIV Golf to fulfill his Ryder Cup obligations.

When Stenson was first announced as Team Europe’s Ryder Cup captain back in March, the 2016 Open Champion inked a deal that only allowed him to compete on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour. Stenson also made several statements during his introductory press conference about not jumping ship for LIV Golf.

But the money prevails once again.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has managed to make yet another major impact on the game of golf, despite Stenson not being all that competitive on the course at this point of his career.

“Henrik Stenson adds yet another outstanding resume to LIV Golf’s global roster of elite players,” Norman said in a statement on Wednesday. “His career performances spanning majors, season-long individual championships and international competitions have cemented him as a leader in today’s game.”

Kokrak, Howell III Join LIV Golf

In addition to Henrik Stenson, both Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III also committed to the LIV Golf Invitational series on Wednesday.

For Kokrak, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour in 276 career starts, rumors about his departure have been swirling ever since the Genesis Open in February. Kokrak told Daniel Rappaport from Golf Digest that he would like to make enough money golfing so that he could retire at 44 and watch his kids grow up. Hey, at least the guy is honest.

“I don’t know how the other players grew up, that’s their business.” Kokrak said. “We’re all independent contractors. I’ve had a goal in my mind when I turned pro and that was to retire when I was 44, to be a father, and be at home. Being out here, the PGA Tour has too many events.”

Kokrak most recently won the Houston Open back in the early stages of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season and is currently 36th in the OWGR.

Howell, 43, was certainly the most shocking name of the bunch, as there wasn’t any real chatter about him joining LIV Golf. Like Kokrak, Howell is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, having accrued $42 million in career earnings. While Howell never necessarily made himself a household name, his PGA Tour career was filled with both success and longevity. Now, the No. 173 player in the OWGR will be suiting up next weekend in New Jersey for a chance to take home $4 million.

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