Henrik Stenson has named Thomas Bjørn as his first vice-captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup which will be played at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome in next September.
Bjørn will bring a wealth of experience to the role having been part of Team Europe in eight previous editions of the contest – three as a player, four as a vice-captain and as victorious captain in the last ‘home’ Ryder Cup in Paris in 2018.
Stenson was one of Bjørn’s 12 players in that successful team at Le Golf National and the Swede has now confirmed his fellow Scandinavian as his first official appointment since he was unveiled as European captain on March 15.“I have known Thomas for my whole career,” said Stenson. “I trust him implicitly and I know any advice he will give me will be honest and direct. He will not simply tell me what he thinks I want to hear and that will be important, so I’m delighted to have him as my first vice captain for Rome.“Since the match itself is still over a year away, I know I am going to have a lot of conversations with him about all elements of the Ryder Cup from his experience, both as a vice captain on previous occasions but also, obviously, as the Captain in 2018 when we had a great result. I will be depending on him a lot and I’m really looking forward to those chats. He was very happy when I asked him. He was very honoured to be asked and happy to be part of Team Europe again and part of the journey with the players.”
Bjørn said: “I’m delighted to be part of the whole Ryder Cup experience once again. I probably thought that after 2018 that was it for me, but Henrik called me to talk about Captaincy in general and that led into him asking me if I wanted to do another stint as Vice Captain, which I agreed to. I’m excited to work with him.
“I think I can help Henrik outline what he wants to do with his captaincy going forwards. I can keep asking him the right questions and reminding him of things that are going to come his way that he might not have thought about. I will help him prepare in the best possible way and as we get closer to the match, to be an additional support to the players.
“I think Henrik will be a fantastic captain. He is so well respected by players and by everyone in the game. He is a very hard-working golfer and somebody who is true to himself, and his team will represent that. He has a great sense of humour that the players will take to, and he is very well liked across the whole Tour, not just the top where he has played his golf for so many years.”