Europe Ryder Cup build-up: The best quotes and social from Whistling Straits

Just 164 players have represented Team Europe in Ryder Cups.

That's fewer than the 5,780 people who have climbed Mount Everest, the 570 who have been to space, the 445 who have won the football World Cup and the 225 men who have won a Major.

The European Tour's 'Make it Count' slogan was a theme of Tuesday's press conferences.

Rory McIlroy: "When you sort of break it down like that, it's a pretty small group and it's pretty cool. That's a pretty small group of players. I'm No. 144; I think Lee (Westwood, who made his debut in 1997) 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."

Lee Westwood: "You have a far greater chance of going into space or climbing Mount Everest than you have representing Europe in the Ryder Cup. We've all got numbers. Mine is the smallest number, 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."

Sergio Garcia: "It was very powerful. I didn't know my number (120). 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. It's an honour, and we treat it like that."

Padraig Harrington: "This has been done before in Europe. I think certainly the Lions (rugby union) were famous for starting it out, and it was obviously, when you're looking for these teams, this is a theme that the European Tour came up with, and I was very comfortable and happy to buy into it and believe in it, and it's really worked out very nicely.

"For me, myself, I'm up there 131, so it's nice for me to look back and 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. We have more."

Harrington on the course set-up

"I came up here about eight weeks ago now, had a look at the golf course. We knew what to expect. It's in great condition. It's set up, as I said, reasonably generous off the tee. Not that it's set up this way, but the type of golf course it is it's very difficult around the greens.

"So nothing -- it's exactly as expected. It's exactly as we were aware. Obviously it's interesting playing a practice round at the moment knowing that the wind is going to change to a different direction at the weekend. These guys are professional players. They know what to do. They've been doing it all their life, so they can figure it out."

Harrington on whether he wants a windy Ryder Cup

"A little bit to test us. What was there today was very nice, but we're not -- I've got a group of great ball strikers. I don't want them blown off the golf course. I'm very comfortable what we saw today, but not looking for any more.

"I think my guys are good enough anyway if there was no wind. They're familiar with playing golf around the world, and their quality of their ball-striking is right there. No, we're not depending on a windy week at all."

Sergio on being the event's all-time leading point scorer with 25.5

"To be totally honest, wasn't really aware until Sunday three years ago in Paris because it's never been a goal of mine.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of it and it's something that obviously I'm going to have at least the rest of my life personally, but once you step on that first tee it's not about you, it's about the team.

"And I've always said it. I'd rather go 0-5 and win the Ryder Cup than 5-0 and lose it. That's not going to change. It doesn't matter. The most important thing is that Europe plays well, that we give ourselves the best chance to win the Cup, and that's the goal."

Harrington on whether players should be paired by country

"No, I don't go in for that sort of stuff. You know, that was something that was done 30, 40 years ago, two guys from the same country, they should play together.

"It's just not automatic just because you've got the same background; it can come down to the age profiles and the timing of their career, whether they're a great partnership or not."

Harrington on why it's harder for the away team to win

"I think obviously you've got the fans. I think more to do with the home setup is a big part of it. Clearly the home captain gets a choice in how the golf course is set up, and he's going to do everything he can in that setup to get it to favour his players. I think that has a big effect on it, to be honest, just really the setup of the golf course.

"In Europe, we've shown it's pretty darned hard to beat us if we're picking one of our courses that's naturally suited to our games. It really is about picking the right venue and also then styling that golf course to suit your players."

McIlroy on whether he'll be wearing a hat

Rory said recently: "My head is so small that I have to get Nike to make me custom hats. So whenever I'm in a team event and the hats aren't custom, they're all too big."

However, it seems he has options this week.

"They made some for me, so that's a start. So I've got some that fit. Maybe. I don't know. It's sort of become my thing in the Ryder Cup to not wear a hat, but I don't know. We'll see."

Viktor Hovland on whether he'd mesh well with Rory if they were paired

"I'd think so. I think we've got a lot of the same strengths and kind of personality-wise we think a lot alike."

Westwood's favourite heckle at a Ryder Cup

"I got called a turd at Hazeltine in 2016, and that's the first time I've been called a turd since I was about 12 years of age in a playground, I think. So that really made me and (former caddie) Billy (Foster) chuckle, that one."

READ MORE: Tony Jacklin's Ryder Cup journey: From no ropes on the fairways to stadium golf

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