Written by Mike McAllister

BEDMINSTER, N.J. – Faced with a decision to break up the all-England Majesticks GC, captain Lee Westwood had no hesitation to move forward with a certain major winner from Sweden.

After all … Henrik Stenson.

“Certainly, Henrik is a valuable addition to the team,” Westwood said. “Looking forward to seeing him play this week.”

Then he added with a wry smile, “As captain, he’s got me to answer to.”

As one of four new LIV Golf members making their debuts this week at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Stenson was added to the Majesticks GC roster. He replaces Laurie Canter, who’s playing this week for Cleeks GC.

The other new members teeing off Friday are Paul Casey and Charles Howell III, both joining Bryson DeChambeau’s Crushers GC; and Jason Kokrak, now part of Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC.

With Stenson’s 21 career wins – including the 2016 Open Championship – and nearly 550 worldwide starts, Majesticks GC not only enhances its resume but gains plenty of experience.

In addition, Stenson has plenty of team chemistry with Majesticks GC veterans Westwood and Ian Poulter, having shared multiple Ryder Cup experiences. Stenson said he’s happy to be back with his “old friends.” Sam Horsfield is the other English-born member.

“I played golf with these guys for 20-plus years,” the 46-year-old Swede said. “So to be teaming up with them here this week, it’s something I look forward to. We always had a lot of fun together and I would imagine that will continue.”

“Henrik is a fantastic addition to the team,” added Poulter, who captained Majesticks GC at the LIV Golf Invitational London before giving way to Westwood starting in Portland. “… As soon as Henrik made himself available, he was a great asset to this Majesticks team.”

Poulter was the Majesticks GC captain at the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational in London. Riding the support of their home fans at Centurion Club, the team finished in the money, splitting the $500,000 prize for third place, albeit well back of a dominant Stinger GC team that week.

Westwood moved into the captain’s role for the next tournament in Portland, but the Majesticks struggled out of the gate. They were last among the 12 teams after the first round and eventually finished in 8th place.

With LIV Golf’s team component still in its early stages, one contributing factor leading to success is a common bond among the top teams. Stinger GC consists of four players from South Africa. 4 Aces GC, the winning team in Portland, consists of four Americans.

On the other hand, 4 Aces GC had a roster overhaul with three new faces joining captain Dustin Johnson. So a lineup change can also be a good thing, although it also comes with risks. Canter, after all, was a solid contributor in the first two events, with three of his six rounds counting towards the team score.

With the new face joining Majesticks GC this week, there are renewed expectations. Stenson is looking forward to the challenge.

Or as he said, “I feel the pressure to make birdies now.”

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