Joining LIV Golf may have cost Henrik Stenson the Ryder Cup captaincy, but it paid off immediately as the former Open champion secured a record payday on his debut in the Saudi-backed breakaway.
Stenson carded a final round of 69 at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey to earn the two-stroke victory over Dustin Johnson and Matthew Wolff and bag the $4 million (£3.28 million) first prize.
The 46-year-old also earned $375,000 (£308,000) as part of the Majesticks team – along with Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sam Horsfield – which finished second in the team competition.
“I think we can all agree that I played like a captain,” Stenson joked in a post-round interview on LIV Golf’s YouTube stream.
“It was obviously a good first week. Nice to be here and get the guys a feel for it. It was a busy 10 days and I am very proud that I did so well.
“Get a little shaky at the end, but that (par) putt on 17 was massive.”
Stenson was named Ryder Cup captain on March 15 but the Swede’s tenure lasted just 127 days before his decision to join LIV Golf meant he was stripped of that role with immediate effect.
The 2016 Open champion had hoped to remain in that position while still competing in LIV events, but a meeting with Ryder Cup Europe officials made it clear that this was not acceptable.
“Yeah, it’s been kind of a roller coaster ride, no question about it,” Stenson said late Sunday.
“I think maybe there was a little extra motivation this week. When we have that as players, I think we can bring out the good stuff. Yes, I definitely did that this week.
“I think that’s been a bit of an issue throughout my career, I think when I really want something I manage to dig a little bit deeper and a lot of times we manage to make it happen.”
Luke Donald is expected to be confirmed shortly as Stenson’s successor and said earlier this week: “I certainly had some of my best moments on the course at the Ryder Cups.
“What an incredible honor it is to represent Europe at the Ryder Cup and I would love to be captain. That would also be a great honor.
“If I got this captain’s job, I would keep my word and go through with it. Let me put it this way. I wouldn’t do a Henrik.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/golf/henrik-stenson-liv-golf-europe-matthew-wolff-trump-national-golf-club-b2135287.html Henrik Stenson cushions the blow against the Ryder Cup with a debut £3.6m win in LIV Golf