Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2023 Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome, Italy

Pádraig Harrington has told his players that they "have a place in history" as they prepare to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup this week.

Harrington's visitors have adopted a heritage numbering system for all players who have represented the Team in the historic event, with rookie Bernd Wiesberger becoming the 164th member of the exclusive club at Whistling Straits this week.

And the European Captain was keen to impress upon his players just how special being part of such an elite group is, considering the number of people who have achieved other great feats in life.

He said: "164 is just a startlingly small amount of players - obviously you can blame Lee Westwood for that for playing 11 times, and Sergio (Garcia) as well, but it's a small group of people.

"When you think 580 people have gone to space and 5,870 people have climbed Mount Everest, it's incredible that there's so few who have played (for Europe) in the Ryder Cup.

"It makes it very special for the players to know that they have a place in history that can never be taken away from them. They will always have a name on that wall.

"For me, myself, I'm up there - 131, so it's nice for me to look back and remember - kind of remember the person I was as a Ryder Cup player, and for these current players, obviously they're experiencing it.

"The three rookies, it was extra special for them to be added in, and they had their moment to stand up and kind of receive the applause of everybody that they're new to this.

"It was a lovely way to start the week."

Harrington has a good blend of youth and experience in his side, with Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia making their 11th and tenth appearances in the competition respectively this week.

At the other end of the scale there are three rookies in the Team and four others with one previous appearance, while there are players who sit in the middle like Rory McIlroy, who has played in all of the last five editions.

Harrington is convinced the younger players can learn from their more experienced teammates and one day be the senior players themselves.

He added: "I do believe there is a nice natural succession in Europe.

"The players I see in the middle of their careers now - probably just slightly less than the middle of their careers to the middle of their careers - they've got great role models in the experienced players and they see what they do.

"I think Europe is in a very strong place going forward in terms of that."

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