Explained: Why Do the European Ryder Cup Players Have Numbers on Their Bags?

Published 09/22/2021, 9:56 AM EDT
September 21, 2021; Kohler, Wisconsin, USA; Team Europe poses for a photo during a practice round for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


The 2021 Ryder Cup will get underway in just a few days in Whistling Straits, Wisconsin. Both teams are well prepared and everything seems to be in place. However, if you look closely at the latest European team pictures, you might have noticed a tiny additional detail.

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Each member has a number stitched onto their bag. Obviously, on first glance, they appear to be totally random. However, the unique numbers carry a sweet- and brilliant- message.

Assigning to each European Ryder Cup player, a unique place in history

European captain Padraig Harrington showed a motivational video to his squad a few days ago. They shared the video on the internet for all to see. Basically, it glorifies the European Ryder team and upholds its rarity. It states that only 164 people have played in the Ryder Cup before. In comparison, 570 people have been into space, 5780 have climbed the Mount Everest and 225 golfers have won a major title.

 

Hence, each player who has a place in those 164 people has a number. It signifies where each member of the team stands in the historical timeline. Lee Westwood, soon to play his 11th Cup, has been assigned the 118th number owing to his experience. In contrast, rookie Bernd Wiesberger is number 164, the last member to be selected.

‘It’s an honour’- Sergio Garcia on playing the Cup

James Corrigan at the Ryder Cup Radio on SiriusXM talked about where Harrington might have had conceived the idea from. He says that a lot of sports like cricket and Rugby have been following this system of numbers. “Padraig’s a big rugby fan,” adds Corrigan, assuming that’s where his motivation came from.

 

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Sergio Garcia, who is appearing for the tenth time at the biennial cup said, “I’ve always known that being a part of the Ryder Cup team is very difficult, but I didn’t know that only that little amount of players have made it. So, that showed you how difficult it really is. That’s why every time I’m a part of a team or the rest of our teammates, that’s why we give it the respect that it deserves, because it’s so difficult to be a part of it.”

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Aug 27, 2021; Owings Mills, Maryland, USA; Sergio Garcia lines up a putt on the first hole during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

He added, “It’s an honor, and we treat it like that.”

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Ishita Bhargava

127 articles

Ishita Bhargava is a golf content writer at Essentially Sports. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, she has a keen interest in sports and fitness. When not playing or watching a sports event, Ishita can be seen spending time with her pets or binge-watching.

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