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Team Europe highlights rarity of Ryder Cup experience

KOHLER, Wisconsin — The European Ryder Cup squad facing the United States this week at Whistling Straits were given a reminder of the select company they are in by way of an inspirational video shown to them.

The video shared on social media points out that 164 men have represented Team Europe in Ryder Cup play while 5,780 people have climbed Mount Everest, 570 have been to space, 445 have won the soccer World Cup and 225 have claimed golf majors.

“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,” Sergio Garcia told reporters on Tuesday at Whistling Straits.

“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.”

The opening line of the video states “In life, the joy of numbers is that they always amount to something” and goes on to include several former players reciting the number of where they fit in Team Europe’s historical timeline.

“It’s a small collection of people that have played for Europe in the Ryder Cup,” said Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who made his Ryder Cup debut in 2010.

“That’s what brings us very close together and that’s been one of our sort of big focus points this week — just being here is very special and being part of a European team. Very few people can call themselves a European Ryder Cup player.”

The video was shown to the 12-member European team on Monday by captain Padraig Harrington in a bid to put in context the rarity of taking part in the event.

Stitched on the golf bags belonging to the European players competing this week is a number unique to them that signifies where they fit on the historical timeline.

“You have a far greater chance of going into space or climbing Mount Everest than you have (of) representing Europe in the Ryder Cup,” said Lee Westwood, who will tie Nick Faldo’s Team Europe record when he makes his 11th Ryder Cup start.

“We’ve all got numbers. Mine is the smallest number (on this team), obviously, 118. But yeah, it’s something to be very proud of, being able to pull on the clothing with the European team crest on it,” added the Englishman. — Reuters

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