PAUL LAWRIE last night insisted that it would be “a joke” if Europe’s replacement Ryder Cup captain was not chosen from the three candidates who originally lost out on the role to Henrik Stenson.

Team Europe was plunged into chaos on Wednesday when Stenson, who was appointed skipper by a five-man panel back in March, was relieved of his duties after the Swede defected to the LIV Golf Series.

Lawrie, along with Luke Donald and Robert Karlsson, were all interviewed for the initial post before Stenson was given the nod. In the tumult of his departure, rumours that former captain Thomas Bjorn could be set to return to the role have been circulating.

Lawrie said: “I assume they just go back to the way they did it before, with the five guys voting on the now three people who were up for the job initially. I’m led to believe that might not be the case. And if it’s not the case then it’s a joke.

“You hear Thomas’s name being banded about now. I don’t see how that can be the case. He’s voting. How can you get the job when you are voting? You can’t change the rules. The process is the process. It’ll be fun and games if it’s not.”