What do the numbers mean on the golf bags of the 2021 European Ryder Cup team?
Ryder Cup

What do the numbers mean on the golf bags of the 2021 European Ryder Cup team?



If you're watching the 2021 Ryder Cup (or the 2020 Ryder Cup, as the event presenters are calling it), then you have probably seen triple-digit numbers on the European Ryder Cup bag.

Having numbers on a golf bag is an odd thing. It's not like golfers wear numbers, even in the rare team setting at the upper echelons of competitive golf. So what do the numbers mean on the golf bags of the 2021 European Ryder Cup team?

As it turns out, the numbers have a meaning unique to European Ryder Cup history.

Looking to inspire his charges, 2021 European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington told his players that they were going to each be assigned a number. The number they were assigned corresponds with their number in the order of all the European players to ever compete in the Ryder Cup.

"We have this thing this week where we've all been given a player number, so there's been 164 players that have played for the European Ryder Cup team, or GB&I way back in the day," said Rory McIlroy on Tuesday at Whistling Straits.

"So that's a pretty small group of players. I'm No. 144; I think Lee (Westwood) is No. 118. But then you just look at all the players before you, and you look at Bernd Wiesberger who's making his debut this year who's No. 164.

"It's a small collection of people that have played for Europe in the Ryder Cup."

Harrington showed an inspirational video to put that group of 164 people into context, with a total of 570 people having ever gone into space. Some 5,000 people have ever climbed Mt. Everest, and only 225 have won a men's major. The hope was to show the European Ryder Cup side as a brotherhood.

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