Padraig Harrington doesn’t begrudge players for the decisions they make regarding where to play.
Unless you’ve made a contractual promise.
“I certainly empathize with anybody that makes the decisions that they have made in terms of going to play a new tour; the financial incentives are quite impressive,” Harrington said on Wednesday. “I do think it's different in Henrik's case, yes. He signed a contract not to do that and was specifically asked not to do that.”
Harrington made his comments ahead of this week’s Senior Open Championship at Gleneagles. The most recent European Ryder Cup captain was speaking on Henrik Stenson being stripped of his captaincy duties upon joining the LIV Golf league.
Stenson had signed on in March to lead the European team at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in September 2023. As Harrington noted, the Swede opted to not live up to those obligations, in favor of the financial windfall he will receive for playing in the Saudi-backed league.
“I have no empathy there. No, he took the Ryder Cup job when LIV was in doubt, and now that LIV is pretty much mainstream normalized, he's jumped ship,” said Harrington, who captained the Euros in defeat last year at Whistling Straits.
Harrington added that he is part of the captain selection committee who chose Stenson and that he and the team are well into determining who will replace Stenson.
“It is 15 months, plenty of time,” Harrington said in relation to when the matches will take place in Italy. “No issue as regards the actual team and, like, there's been nothing set in place about the selection processes or qualification processes. Really doesn't affect the Ryder Cup in any shape or form. I'm sure we'll have a new captain installed pretty soon.”